JADE Jones’ sixth place in the 400m heats went relatively unnoticed at London 2012 yesterday, but it’s a date worth remembering according to those in the know.

Great Britain’s golden boy David Weir is convinced it’s a matter of when, not if, 16- year-old Jones establishes herself as one of the all-time wheelchair racing greats while Dame Tanni-Grey Thompson believes her record of 11 Paralympic titles is under threat – and as her coach and mentor, she should have a good idea.

Five gold medals at the 2010 World Junior Championships highlights the exceptional promise that Teessider Jones has already shown while at the 2011 IPC World Championships, shortly after her 15th birthday, she finished fifth, seventh and eighth in the 200m, 400m and 800m respectively.

Yesterday’s performance was unexpectedly average therefore – she finished in 59.14, more than three seconds slower than the personal best she set this year – but the problem is, not even she nor her heralded fan club know what to expect.

They all agree on her undoubted potential but at present Jones still doesn’t know what her best event is – the spectrum effectively ranges from the 100m to the marathon.

At London 2012 she will now contest the 800m and the 1500m, but it’s likely to be Rio 2016 before she starts her medal collection – it’s easy to forget that she collected her GCSE results just a week or two ago.

But yesterday still marked the start of her Paralympic career on a road that promises to be paved with plenty of gold.

“It was a good race, I went out there not expecting too much. I didn’t have too much pressure on me seeing as I’m only 16,” said Jones.

“I wasn’t sure how it was going to go and it definitely wasn’t my best race but it was OK. I did what I could and that’s all I can do really.

“I didn’t really expect to get selected so I was just happy with selection to be honest, just being here was fantastic.

“The crowd was amazing, you couldn’t ask for any more than that. It was breath-taking really.

“I’ve got many years ahead of me and Rio 2016 will be a big goal of mine but I’m not finished here yet, I’m just going to look forward to the next race and see what I can do there.”

As well as being coached by Grey-Thompson, Jones also has the honour of racing in the last competition wheelchair used by Great Britain’s most successful Paralympian of the modern era