McKay mines hard-fought gold
HEAVYWEIGHT Jason McKay and US Open Night of Champions winner, Ackeem Lawrence, won gold and bronze, respectively, at Saturday's Colorado Taekwondo Championships in Denver, United States.
The Jamaicans had expected two medals from the lightweight division, envisioning a final between Lawrence and compatriot Delano Francis.
However, Francis first bowed out as multiple rounds at high altitude in the Colorado mountains proved too tough for the youngster from sea-level Portmore, Jamaica.
Lawrence used his superior conditioning and experience to reach the semis but fell out of favour with the judges due to excessive contact, ending his run with a bronze medal.
This left McKay as Jamaica's sole hope of winning what had become an unlikely gold medal after the masters division was cut and all heavyweights herded into one division.
"It was hell out there. The altitude really had me suffering. I lost my legs midway the division and had to turn the rounds into boxing bouts. However, I think I was really lucky with the draw and that pulled me through," he said.
"It was a good tournament. I think the rounds and altitude took a toll on Delano. Ackeem was just unlucky with the contact rules," McKay added.