Team England have named para-athlete and para-triathlete Jade Jones as their closing ceremony flagbearer for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Jones, 22 from Middlesbrough, completed a stunning achievement this morning, winning medals in two separate sports. She claimed bronze in the T54 marathon just one week after becoming England’s first ever female para-triathlon Commonwealth Champion.
Jones will carry the flag to close out Team England’s most successful ever performance in Australia with 45 gold 45 silver and 46 bronze medals won.
Tonight’s closing ceremony also sees the start of the countdown to Team England’s home Games in Birmingham in 2022.
On being nominated as closing ceremony flagbearer Jade Jones, said: “I didn’t expect to receive this honour but I am really looking forward to representing our team at the ceremony.
“It hasn’t been easy turning things around after the triathlon, it has taken time to recover for the marathon. But I am delighted to win two medals in two sports; the hard work has paid off.
“I have enjoyed how the Games have been completely integrated between para and non para sport, it is something I have been pushing for. I love how it isn’t about the disability but it is about the sport and for me, that’s is what it is all about. We started at 6am this morning but the streets were lined with people so that is really encouraging.”
Athletics Team Leader Martin Rush said: “I am delighted that Jade will have the honour of carrying the flag at tonight’s ceremony. At these Games, Jade has exemplified how different sports can compete together as one team and has achieved an incredible level of performance across both of her disciplines.
“These Games have again shown how para and non-para athletics can be successfully integrated into the same athletics programme and Jade carrying our flag is a further demonstration of that success. We look forward to seeing her lead the team later this evening.”
Triathlons Team Leader Ian Pyper said: “Jade has achieved a phenomenal feat during these Commonwealth Games. To add bronze to the gold she received a week ago in only her fourth ever international paratriathlon race is fantastic and well deserving of the honour to bear the Team England flag in tonight’s closing ceremony.
“There were so many athletes worthy of this honour and for Jade to be selected is brilliant both for her and the sport. I’ll be thrilled to watch her lead the team out this evening to draw the curtain on a thoroughly successful Games.”
Team England Chef de Mission Sarah Winckless said “This has been a Games of standout performances for Team England.
“With Netball and Basketball recording their best ever performances, multiple gold medals for the likes of Nile Wilson and memorable moments such as Sophie Thornhill and Helen Scott’s two world records, this was not an easy decision.
“Jade’s performances across two sports have been phenomenal, she has helped lead the team both on and off the field of play and I know she will do the team proud tonight.”