Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Ja martial artists ready for 2017 US Open

Published:Monday | June 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters
Jamaica’s Subrina Richards (centre) celebrates after beating Germany’s Viarouge Manon (left) and Jenny Dahlstrom to win the middleweight points-sparring gold at the International Sport Kick-boxing Association Amateur World Championships in Athens, Greece, earlier this month.

Jamaican martial artists from five organisations, bolstered by members of Jamaica's male and female combined martial arts teams, in addition to participants in the McKay Security Jamaica Taekwon-Do High School League, are aiming at another record-breaking performance at the June 28-July 2 United States Open in Orlando, Florida.

Last year, Jamaica won 80 medals at the International Sports Karate Association-sanctioned event, eight fewer than 2015, but made up in quality where they lost out on quantity by bagging 34 gold, one more than the previous year.

The performance drew congratulations from Sports Minister Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, who lauded the delegation.

 

INSPIRING SUCCESS

 

"Both junior and senior players from the martial arts - tae kwon do, karate and Seido - have been flying the Jamaican flag really high. I have been following their impressive progress and the success is inspiring, to say the least," said the sports minister, whose commendations, head of delegation Jason McKay said, will serve to spur the team, especially the high-school children.

"You would not believe how much it meant, to the children especially, to read in the newspaper that the country's sports minister was congratulating them," McKay pointed out.

In addition to seasoned veterans from the combined martial arts teams, children from Jamaica Taekwon-Do Centre, Ultimate Taekwon-Do, Mandeville Taekwon-Do, Rising Sun Karate, Future Leaders Karate and high schools, led by defending league champions Calabar, Jamaica College, Kingston College, Wolmer's and St George's College will vie for US Open titles in continuous, points and clash sparring.

Among the highlights of the US Open will be Jamaica's female combined team taking on their regional rivals in the Caribbean Taekwon-Do Cup to open the tournament on Thursday, and close the Night of Champions, an ESPN-televised event in which multiple ISKA World Champion Subrina Richards will face 2015 International Taekwon-Do Federation Camila Canut of Argentina.