Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Richards among world's best - McKay

Published:Monday | June 5, 2017 | 6:00 AMAinsley Walters
Jamaica's Subrina Richards (centre) flashes a wide grin after beating Germany's Viarouge Manon (left) and Jenny Dahlstrom to win the middleweight points-sparring gold at the International Sport Kickboxing Association Amateur World Championships in Athens, Greece.
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SUBRINA Richards on Friday confirmed her status as one of the best female middleweight martial artists in the world, winning a third consecutive International Sport Kick-boxing Association (ISKA) Amateur Members Association World Championships title in Athens, Greece.

Coach Jason McKay said he had no doubt Richards would have completed the hat-trick after winning points-sparring titles in Portugal, 2015, and Stuttgart, Germany, last year.

"She is at about 80 per cent fitness but, even at that, I knew she was way ahead of anyone else. There is no one in the European confederation who can seriously challenge her in points fighting. I am even surprised that the final was so close. Germany really pushed her to the line," he said.

Richards, who won Jamaica's third gold at the event, following Akino Lindsay's opening-day super heavyweight title win and Sheckema Cunningham's microweight victory on Thursday, said she was elated after a tough fight.

GREAT FEELING

"It's a great feeling knowing I was able to defend my title twice. This was the first ISKA title I won, back in 2015, and I was able to get it again, twice, last year in Germany as well.

"It was a tough match, to be honest. I fought two Germans. It was a pretty close match. I am just super happy, super proud, very excited and looking forward to 2018 when we are hosting. I will have the opportunity to defend my title in front of my fellow Jamaicans," she added.

The Jamaicans hope to end the tournament with four gold medals, pinning their bets on Cunningham's point-sparring bout, a late match, following her title win in continuous-sparring last week.

"We are hosting this tournament in Montego Bay next year, and it would be great to have four titles resting with the host country," McKay pointed out, adding that the 2018 ISKA Amateur Members Association World Championships, September 10-15, could surpass the success of the 2014 International Taekwondo Federation World Cup, which was also staged in Montego Bay.

"We pulled off that one with few, if any, hitches and many praises, internationally and locally," he said.