Jade Jones has revealed the mental turmoil she went through before she suffered a shock defeat in the opening round of the taekwondo at the Olympic Games.
Jones was heavy favourite to create history by becoming the first British female athlete win gold medals at three consecutive Olympic Games.
But the defending champion, 28, suffered a shock defeat to Kimia Alizadeh of the Refugee Olympic team in the first round, ending her hopes.
In an emotional interview with the BBC, the Flint native spoke of finding herself in a ‘fear mode’ as she came out for the bout and the impact that the absence of her parents had on her.
“Obviously I still haven’t had a lot of time to think about it and I think it’ll take a while to sink in,” she told the BBC.
“I think I just put too much pressure on myself. Coming out was hard. I felt scared, I felt too much pressure.
“The whole tournament has been different to what I’m used to. I’m used to having my family there.
“When I am scared coming out, having them cheering me on gives me that extra push to go for it.
“I just got trapped in that fear mode today. I’m obviously devastated and think I could have done more.
“I gave it my best under those circumstances but I’m gutted and wish I could have brought back the gold for everyone at home.
“I don’t want to make excuses because a champion adapts and I truly believe that it’s my fault for not adapting but it’s been tough.
“I told myself my family wouldn’t be there in the stadium but I didn’t realise what it would be like until I got here and it’s sad.”
Jones faced an anxious wait after the defeat to see if she would get the chance to target a bronze medal through the repechage, but those hopes were also dashed when Alizadeh lost her semi-final match to Tatiana Minina of Russia.