Francis adds Pan Am gold to World Cup title
Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer
EXCELSIOR High School student Delano Francis rewrote local martial arts history for the second time in two months by adding the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF) Pan Am Championships gold medal to the World Cup gold he won at home in August.
Fighting on Saturday's last day of the ITF Pan Am Champs in Asunción, Paraguay, Francis proved he was no hometown one-hit wonder after taking gold from August's World Cup at Montego Bay's Convention Centre.
The speedy Jamaican emerged champion among lightweight junior black belts at the Pan Am Champs, which featured athletes from 20 countries.
Jamaica ended the championships with five gold and two bronze, won by seven athletes. Adult black belt Ackeem Lawrence was the star performer, with a gold in microweight sparring and bronze in patterns.
Jamaica fielded mainly coloured-belt teenagers at the championship to expose them to tougher ITF rings following their successful showing at home in the World Cup.
The delegation was led by Jason McKay and managed by Nicholas Dusard. Both served as coaches for the squad, which was prepared by Claude Chin.
The team was selected based on performance in the recent tae kwon-do World Cup in Jamaica and sponsored by McKay security and Alliance Investment.