More than 1,000 registered for Tae kwon do World Cup
Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer
MORE than 1,000 participants have so far registered for Jamaica's historic staging of the fifth International Tae kwon do Federation World Cup at Montego Bay Convention Centre, August 26-30.
Martial artists from 27 countries and 52 clubs, comprising black belts, coloured belts and traditional-sparring teams have registered from Argentina to Sweden, with entries increasing as the World Cup kick-off nears.
Jamaica hosting the World Cup marks the first time since its inaugural staging that the event will be held in this hemisphere. The first World Cup was held in the United States and Europe thereafter.
surpass 2003 numbers
Hosting the event makes Jamaica the smallest country to undertake the World Cup, which is traditionally well supported by the international martial arts community.
Organiser Jason McKay pointed out that with more than 1,000 participants already registered, the World Cup is set to surpass athlete numbers for the 2003 World Netball Championships and Cricket World Cup 2007.
"Registration is still open and the local groups seem to be taking some time to get their act together because they are at home. However, the international response is going well and Montego Bay is bound to be buzzing with officials and participants, who usually travel with support groups such as parents, coaches and so on.
"Jamaica's profile as a martial arts force has increased significantly with our terrific performances at the annual United States Open, the exploits of Jamaica's combined martial arts team and, of course, Kenneth Edwards qualifying for the last Olympics, the first Jamaican to have ever done so," McKay pointed out.
"It is rare that an event like this is being held at an exotic tropical location and it is being seen as a chance to double as a vacation for most of the participants and their families. I am sure the economic spin-off for Montego Bay will be great," he added.