Olympics-Boxing-After narrow escape from home fire, American Jones eyes gold

·1 min read
Boxing - Women's Welterweight - Quarterfinal

By Chang-Ran Kim

TOKYO (Reuters) - After losing most of her home and thousands of dollars worth of boxing equipment in a fire in May, U.S. welterweight Oshae Jones said her eyes were on the gold prize now she was assured of a medal at the Tokyo Games.

"I had a vision of me standing on the podium and I practise my gold medal speech every day, so I plan on it," Jones said after beating Dominican Maria Moronta in the quarter-finals on Friday, securing at least a bronze.

Jones narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed more than half of the home that she and her boyfriend had bought in Toledo, Ohio - a "fixer-upper" that they were almost done renovating.

"I feel like with the Olympic Games postponed a whole year and me losing 60, 80 percent of my things, I feel like it was just adding fuel to the fire, literally, to me keep pushing," the 23-year-old said. "I keep pushing every day."

Jones affectionately credited her "nosy neighbours" for alerting her and her partner to the late-night blaze.

"If I was in any other neighbourhood where people mind their business, I would be dead," she said.

Still, having to replace the roof, re-do the wiring and so much more, the state of her house was always on the back of her mind, Jones added.

"But all I can do is give it my best here and maybe that can contribute to my home."

Jones will fight China's Gu Hong in the semi-finals at the Kokugikan Arena on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Ken Ferris)