Thu | Jan 17, 2019

WTF! - Lindsay hopes four gold haul can springboard to Olympics

Published:Tuesday | July 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer

JAMAICA'S Akino Lindsay recently rewrote International Sports Karate Association United States Open history in Orlando, Florida, by completing a four-gold haul in sparring at the world's biggest martial arts tournament.

The 23-year-old Drewsland, St Andrew, resident also signalled a change of the guard in Jamaican martial arts, by beating Olympian Kenneth Edwards en route to victory in clash sparring, +185lb, 18 and over.

Lindsay also topped points sparring in the competitive division, adding to team and individual gold medals won in continuous sparring.

Though his feat was a record haul in sparring at the annual tournament that consistently attracts thousands of martial artists from all over the world, beating Edwards was far worth its weight in gold for Lindsay.

"Beating Kenneth was far more fulfilling than winning four gold medals," said the St George's College graduate, who picked up tae kwon do late in fourth form. Lindsay was piqued by his love of the children's television series Power Rangers, which, unknown to him at the time, had among its star cast, martial artists who first made a name for themselves at the US Open.




"That was the height of the tournament for me, beating Kenneth, being who he is and revered by everybody. Beating him was very satisfying. That was something I wanted to do for a very long time," Lindsay added.

"He is the future star of Jamaica's martial arts' thrust," said Jason McKay, whose company sponsors the Jamaica Taekwondo Association High School League, from which Lindsay and others such as Nicholas Dusard rose to local and international martial arts fame.

Despite returning home with more trophies than he could carry, Lindsay's season has just started. Come September, he has to defend his International Sports Karate Association Amateur Member Association world title at home at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, September 13-15.

Lindsay is a two-time champion at the tournament, which is usually held in Europe, but will be historically staged in the Americas for the first time.

"The US Open was a good tournament to gauge where I am. However, no matter how prepared or how fit I am, I always put pressure on myself to be better going into a tournament," he said.

Making the Olympics, he said, would be the ultimate but "there are so many obstacles and things to be done because of the whole World Taekwon-Do Federation (WTF) administration in Jamaica".

"I have been doing WTF style, but it's totally up to my sponsor whether we're going to have to go through that fight," he said.