Lawrence hunts more gold in Ireland
ACKEEM Lawrence, who led Jamaica’s martial artists to an overall tally of 54 medals at July’s International Sports Karate Association’s (ISKA) United States Open – 19 gold, 15 silver, and 20 bronze – on his first tour as captain, is hoping for more success at the October 15-19 Amateur Members Association World Championships in Cork City, Ireland.
Lawrence, Nicholas Dusard, and Richard Stone, double gold medallists at the 2018 championships hosted by Jamaica in Montego Bay, believe they have a chance of again reaping maximum six gold in addition to a team title on tomorrow’s final day.
Appointed captain of Jamaica’s combined martial arts team in January, 26-year-old lightweight Lawrence follows a strong trio of leaders: Jason McKay, with 53 unbeaten matches, his successor, Arthur Barrows, Nicholas Dusard, and Adrian Moore.
Dusard led Jamaica to International Taekwondo Federation World Cup team gold on home soil, Montego Bay, in 2014. Moore followed suit by lifting the team gold at the ISKA Amateur World Championships last year in the Second City.
“I actually led the team at the Ultimate Taekwon Do Open in New Jersey in April. We won 10 medals, including four gold in sparring, maintaining dominance at the annual tournament. After that, we absolutely shone at the US Open, Lawrence pointed out.
Lawrence has so far enjoyed an incredible year, beating Axel Vargas of Argentina at the US Open’s ESPN-televised Night of Champions, fighting in the International Taekwondo Federation World Championship bout, his second dethroning of a world champion after beating Canada’s Maxime Bujold in 2016.