Jasmine Hacker-Jones (Year 11) has just returned from Port Elizabeth in South Africa, where she won gold at the Commonwealth Judo Championships 2016. We caught up with her to find out more…
Hiya Jasmine! Firstly, a massive congratulations on your incredible achievement, how are you feeling?
I still can’t believe it. I didn’t expect to bring back any kind of medal, let alone win gold for Wales! I got back on Thursday afternoon, so I’m still catching up with friends and family.
What was it like to represent your country?
I felt very honoured to represent Wales and wear the badge with pride. It was great to be a part of the team. I’ve never been to South Africa before; it was a wonderful experience; one I’ll never forget.
How did you get selected to represent Wales?
I had to go through a selection process at Pontarddulais where I was judged on my technical abilities, strength and co-ordination. The criteria for the Commonwealth championships was a 5th place finish or above at the British Championships. I received an email at the beginning of April from ‘Talent Cymru’ inviting me to join the squad. They told me I’d been selected for the Commonwealth team and would be going to South Africa.
Talk us through the competition and how you won gold ?
I had to weigh in on the Monday and the competition was on Tuesday 26th April. I was fighting under 52 kg’s at under 18’s level. I had four fights all together and I was undefeated, so went to the final round against a girl from South Africa. The fight went to ‘full-time’ (which is four minutes) and the referee awarded me the victory and the gold medal!
That’s fantastic Jasmine, what was it like to receive your medal ?
It was overwhelming to be stood on the podium as the Welsh national anthem rang out in the Mandela Bay Metro. It was amazing to see my team clapping and celebrating my victory.
One last question Jasmine, what future competitions do you have lined up?
In May there is the European cup in Portugal, which I am hoping to be selected for. I didn’t place last year, so I am hoping to put in a better performance!
We’re sure you will Jasmine, a massive well done from everyone at Ysgol Maesteg, we are super proud of your achievements. You truly embody our school motto of ‘Motivated to Strive’ and we are extremely proud that you are such a wonderful ambassador for Maesteg School.