Ainsley Walters, Sunday Gleaner Writer
JAMAICA is on the verge of more sporting glory in England following its rich medal haul at the London Olympics. Olympian Kenneth Edwards and Nicholas Dussard last night historically advanced to their respective finals of the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup in Brighton.
Jamaica won gold at the World Cup in 2008 when microweight Alrick Wanliss topped the world. However, the country has never had two competitors advance to the finals of an ITF event.
Edwards, who won the nation's heart with a commendable performance against China's 6' 4" Liu Xiaobo in the first round of an historic tae kwon do Olympic debut for Jamaica, was down to fight Tim Kool of the Netherlands.
Dussard, the ITF Pan Am champion and unbeaten this year, will face Roman Kudashov of Russia. Both Jamaicans fought five rounds to their finals.
Edwards reached the quarter final in Italy 2008 but lost to a fighter from the Netherlands.
Though carrying an ankle injury, the flashy-kicking 26-year-old said reverting to his customary ITF-style fighting, from that of the Olympics' World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) feet-only format, should take some pressure off his testy ankle.
"I think my chances are very good," Edwards remarked after landing in London this week.
Meanwhile, Dussard has said he's far more experienced and decorated for England 2012 after crashing out in the first round in 2008.
"I have way more experience now and I now know how to win," said the 23-year-old. "I know how to pace my fights to get thorough the rounds. In 2008, I was a bit impatient in that match and I was fighting Serrano from Argentina."
The 2012 World Cup has more than 1,600 competitors from 160 clubs/associations and 45 countries.