Thu | Oct 17, 2019

STGC ready to defend taekwon do title

Published:Monday | September 16, 2019 | 12:17 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer

ST GEORGE’s College will start their defence of the Jamaica Taekwondo McKay Security High School League at October’s Jamaica Taekwondo Open without four key fighters who led them to their first outright title last season.

Coach Andre Sinclair, who took over from Wayne Smith last season, said that the champions will be without university-bound Duncan Smith, Damarc Henry, Javin Ashley, and Miguel Hamilton but had exposed junior fighters sufficiently for them to fill the shoes of the departees.

After pushing many-time champions Calabar High to the limit in 2016-17, coming within one match of a league win, then sharing the title after losing to the defending champions in the last match of 2017-18, St George’s won the 2018-19 season 3-2, though going down to Jamaica College in the season-ending Seido Open.

“Consistency in training and evolving over the years caused them to learn a lot, which brought the gradual success. They brought that knowledge with them and were victorious,” Sinclair said.

“We still have Ryan Robinson, who is now the captain. However, the team was a bit mixed last season due to exams. Duncan Smith was one of the most experienced but had to take some time off due to studies and was not a part of the team in the last two matches.

“During the season, we had juniors coming up who were training throughout this summer and have improved drastically. I do foresee us having a good team going forward,” Sinclair added.

Sizing the competition, Sinclair pointed to last season’s runners-up, Jamaica College, as a major threat.

“Based on what I saw at the last two or three competitions, Jamaica College still have some younger guys showing potential. I am looking for some good matches from them. Calabar should also be coming back strong. Penwood High are also trying a comeback. Their team is relatively new, but the guys they had last year gained a lot of knowledge. I wouldn’t take any of them for granted,” he said.