Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer
KENNETH EDWARDS delivered on promise shown at the London Olympics by winning the marquee heavyweight gold medal at the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup in Brighton, England, Saturday night.
It was a historic evening for Jamaica as Edwards' teammate, Nicholas Dussard, took silver in the lightweight division, narrowly going down by a point to Roman Kudashov of Russia in a nail-biting bout.
Edwards, who along with Dussard fought five rounds to reach their finals, was ecstatic after finally winning an ITF world title, emulating microweight Alrick Wanliss' historic 2008 gold medal.
"The World Cup was high-quality, as expected, and after coming out of the Olympics still feeling highly tuned and still at my peak, myself and the coaches expected this gold-medal performance. Happy birthday, Jamaica," Edwards quipped.
Jamaica first won gold at the World Cup in 2008 when Wanliss topped the world. However, the country has never had two competitors advance to the finals of an ITF event.
The World Cup is the world's third-biggest martial arts tournament behind the World Championship and International Sports Karate Association United States Open. More than 1,600 competitors from 160 clubs, associations and 45 countries participated.
Edwards brought his immense talent to national recognition 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 at the recent London Olympics.
Though carrying an ankle injury, Edwards all but predicted his world title after landing in London last Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Dussard, who had crashed out in the first round in 2008, was heartened by his silver medal, his only loss for the year after winning the ITF Pan Am lightweight title.