Sinclair, Richards, the champions at Seido Karate tournament
Martial arts lovers were treated to a wonderful day of thrills and spills as the 40th annual Seido Karate Tournament rocked the auditorium of the Donald Sangster Hall at the University of Technology last Saturday.
Competitors from as young as age three put on displays of skill, timing and power that belied their young ages. The tournament attracted more than 300 participants and the large crowd was thoroughly entertained. Of special interest was the high schools division, which always generates intense high school rivalry. Calabar defeated KC in the finals in this very exciting competition.
But the spotlight was on the grand championship bouts that more than lived up to their expectations.
In the finals, it was a three-way fight-off between many times champion Paul Williams of New York Seido, who was this year's over-40 champion, Ricardo Lewis of Taekwondo, who was lightweight champion, and heavyweight champion Chris Sinclair of New York Seido.
Williams and Sinclair easily dispatched Lewis in their respective fights, even though he put up a spirited display, but was outmatched by the more seasoned fighters, setting up a mouth-watering Grand Championship Final.
It was an epic battle for the championship as both fighters were evenly matched, trading blows at lightning speed that had the judges often calling points for both big men at the same time. But after two gruelling rounds, Sinclair managed to pull away from the more seasoned Williams and won the classic battle nine points to four.
Ironically, both men are of Jamaican origin and train together in New York. It was Sinclair's first Grand Championship after many years of trying.
Sabrina Richards of Jamaica Taekwondo retained the title that she won last year and battled her way to being female Grand Champion again, defeating Marissa Jones of Rising Sun in the finals. Jones, after winning her tough division, put in a much-improved performance over last year, but was no match for Richards, who is on the National Combined Team.