Jamaica aim at four gold in Athens
Jamaica hopes to set the stage for a successful staging of the 2018 International Sport Kick Boxing Association (ISKA) Amateur Members Association World Championships by fielding four gold medal prospects for this year's tournament in Athens, Greece, which starts Wednesday and concludes on Saturday.
Jamaica combined martial arts team members Subrina Richards, Akino Lindsay and Sheckema Cunningham, all ISKA Amateur Members world champions, are joined by Ackeem Lawrence, an International Taekwondo Federation Pan Am gold medallist as Jamaica's brightest propects for gold in Athens.
Lawrence has had considerable experience fighting at the ISKA United States Open but gets his first taste of Amateur Members Association World Championships, which is primarily hosted in Europe, and will make its first trek to this hemisphere when Jamaica hosts next year.
Jason McKay, who heads ISKA Jamaica, said he is confident the quartet will return with four gold, pointing out that the strongest squad has been chosen and need to do well.
"It is considered really crucial that, being hosts, countries should have persons defending their world titles. Lindsay won gold when he debuted at Portugal 2015, but was dropped for 2016 due to not having sufficient local activity. He, however returns as one of the brightest prospects to take gold," McKay pointed out.
"Cunningham was dropped from last year's squad for not meeting the minimum training requirements, plus she was injured when she had gone to Cyprus in 2014. She, however, is in her best form in years, showing her diversity with a great knockout in World Taekwondo Federation action this month in Jersey, wining two gold medals."
Of the four, Richards is possibly Jamaica's greatest prospect for gold, having won three ISKA world titles in her career and not losing a fight for the entire season last year.