Ja girls kick-start US Open in Caribbean Cup
Tashauna Grannum believes three months of rigorous training has her in peak condition for this evening's Caribbean Cup at the June 29 to July 2 International Sports Karate Association United States Open in Orlando, Florida. Jamaica will face the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in the tournament's curtain-raiser.
Grannum was in a similar position two years ago, peaking in time for the 2015 United States Open with back-to-back gold medals won at the International Taekwondo Federation African Taekwon-Do Cup in Pretoria, South Africa, before clinching her division at the Ultimate Taekwon-Do Challenge in New Jersey.
When she hit the big stage in the Coronado Resort Ballroom, Grannum won two of three fights, but the Jamaican girls went down to a crack German outfit.
FACING CARIBBEAN OPPONENTS
Facing Caribbean rivals and professing her fitness for this evening's three-team clash, Grannum said she is not familiar with Caribbean opponents, has no idea what to expect from them, but knows she is ready to team up with International Sport Kick-boxing Association double gold medallist Sheckema Cunningham and Marissa Jones.
"I haven't seen who the other fighters are. Usually, when I compete abroad, I get Europeans and South Americans, never usually Caribbean.
"I started training at the end of April, about three months. My condition could be better but at this point, I think I will be able to manage the rounds. For the past couple of weeks, we have been doing some conditioning, so I am fit but still have to watch my back. Any wrong move could take me out of the fight," she said of a bad back that has plagued her international career.
Grannum is the sole middleweight in the team, replacing Subrina Williams who is looking to add another gold medal to her international collection when she faces International Taekwon-Do Federation 2015 World Champion Camila Canut of Argentina on Saturday's ESPN-televised Night of Champions.