Competing at her second Commonwealth Games in two different sports, Team England favourite Jade Jones-Hall didn’t disappoint.
As well as making history to become the first woman to clinch paratriathlon gold at a Commonwealth Games, Jones-Hall also won bronze in the T54 Marathon just seven days later in what was a gruelling yet fulfilling two weeks on the Gold Coast for the 22-year-old.
“When I first started competing in para-triathlons (in 2017), my first big goal was the Commonwealth Games,” Jones-Hall explained. “The whole experience was incredible.”
“I was confident, but not for the gold. I knew that if I performed I would medal, but I didn’t think I was going to win – there were so many strong girls out there and it was really difficult on the day with the conditions, so I didn’t expect to win.”
It was certainly a Games to remember for the Yorkshire-based athlete, who was making her second Commonwealth appearance having taken a bronze medal in the T54 1500m at Glasgow 2014, as she was named as Team England’s flag bearer during the closing ceremony in Australia.
“I haven’t heard of many para-athletes that have had an opportunity to do what I did at a Commonwealth Games, we’re constantly fighting for more events at the Games and it’s been amazing this time around as there were so many at the Gold Coast. It was completely unexpected when they asked me to do it, but it’s one of those things to be proud of to go out with the whole team and get that experience.”
Jones-Hall was among a host of Team England para-athletes that triumphed at the Gold Coast, on a comprehensive list that included Alice Tai, Sophie Hahn, Sophie Thornhill and Tom Hamer, among many others. “It’s great to show what para-events are all about, and having it exclusively and all on show can show that reality of what we can do.”
The Gold Coast Games in April were special to the 22-year-old for a multitude of reasons, not only did she clinch monumental personal success, her husband and fellow Team England para-marathon participant, Calum Hall, was competing as well.
“It was just so special,” Jones-Hall said. “To actually share that experience together – especially when I won the gold, that was my first gold at a senior event, so being able to share that with Callum was amazing.”
While the Middlesbrough-born athlete is currently nursing a shoulder injury that currently has no timetable for recovery, Jade Jones-Hall is certainly one to keep an eye out for in future events and she only continues to get better.