Francis steals show
Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer
BEANPOLE 17-year-old Excelsior High student, Delano Francis, yesterday outclassed Puerto Rico's Gustavo Lipezker with lightning-fast footwork to claim Jamaica's first black-belt gold medal of the International Taekwon-Do Federation World Cup in Montego Bay.
Francis' gold on centre stage was among four reaped by Jamaica's juniors on a medal-laden second day for the homesters at Montego Bay's Convention Centre.
"I dreamt that I had won," he said after jumping into the arms of his coach, Nicholas Dusard.
The island's juniors won 10 medals yesterday, four gold, two silver and four bronze, including two clean sweeps of weight divisions on either side of the lunch break.
Jamaica's tally after two days stands at 19 medals - six gold, five silver and eight bronze. Wednesday's opening day results were updated to nine medals with the addition of a silver and two bronze.
Jamaica Taekwon-Do Centre's Richard Stone had claimed silver behind Kenneil Reid in 18-35 coloured-belt patterns on Wednesday.
The other late additions from Wednesday were bronze medals won by the Mandeville Taekwon-Do Centre duo of Alexia Webb and Kahleel Haighs. Webb had placed third in 15-18 coloured belt patterns and Haighs claimed bronze in pre-junior 12-14 sparring, +60kg.
Yesterday, Jamaica's 15-17 year-olds stood alone on the podium for medal presentations in the junior coloured belts, -50 and +68kg categories.
Jamaica College's Tahj Hewitt was flanked by the Calabar pair of Christopher Campbell and Akeem Bancroft, silver and bronze, respectively, for the -50kg junior medal presentation.
In the +68 division, Deandre Leith won gold ahead of the Cornwall College duo of David Hall Jr and David Watkin, both from Ultimate and Red Dragon Taekwon-Do.
Kingston College's Paz Rodriquez added a fourth gold for Jamaica by beating England's Edward Weston in the -56kg category. Joshane Thompson claimed bronze after being stopped by England's Weston in their semi-final bout.
Hakeem Dunkley of Man-deville Taekwon-Do clinched bronze to round off Jamaica's tally, placing third in 15-17 sparring, -52kg, losing his semi-final, 3-1, to Argentina's Geronimo Neyro.
Today's action will feature Jamaica's black belt stars such as Dusard, Kenneth Edwards, Sheckema Cunningham and another junior who is touted to take gold, Merl Grove's Subrina Richards.
Later in the evening, the World Cup's gala night will see the black belt finals being contested followed by another big party with Elephant Man and Kip Rich providing entertainment after I-Octane's smashing performance on Wednesday's opening-ceremony night.