Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Sparks set to fly at Jamaica Tae-kwondo Open

Published:Saturday | March 9, 2019 | 12:23 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
Akino Lindsay
Akino Lindsay

JAMAICA’s top martial artists, including International Tae-kwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup medallists, will today pit skills in patterns, breaking, and exciting sparring bouts at the 2019 McKay Security Jamaica Taekwondo Association Invitational Championships, starting 9 a.m. at the National Arena.

Participants are expected from Montego Bay, Mandeville Taekwondo, Ultimate Taekwondo and Kingston Taekwondo, as well as other martial arts schools, competing under ITF rules, at the open tournament.

Kingston Taekwondo’s line-up will feature international medal-laden stars from the Jamaica combined martial arts team such as heavyweights Richard Stone, Akino Lindsay, Rasean Martin, Richard Touzalain and Oral Rumble.

Experienced campaigners

Adrian Moore, Nicholai Reid, and Trevor Webb Jr are among Kingston Tae-kwondo’s middleweights, who have vast experience on the international circuit as Jamaica combined team members.

Ackeem Lawrence and Donald Francis, both international ITF medalists, will feature among the lightweights, welcome St George’s College schoolboy, Miguel Hamilton, making his debut as an adult black belt.

Denise Romero of Jamaica Tae-kwondo Association says that action will start at 9 a.m. with patterns divisions, followed by the high school league, which is spread over the local-circuit calendar and features the likes of many-time champions Calabar High, season-leaders St George’s College, Kingston College, Jamaica College, Wolmers’ Boys’ School and Penwood High.

St George’s College, which broke Calabar’s stranglehold by sharing the 2017-2018 league crown, are 2-0 up on rivals after adding January’s Everlast Jamaica Taekwondo Academy Open to victory at October’s season-opening Jamaica Tae-kwondo Junior Open.

STGC Victorious

Fielding Chayane Brown, Miguel Hamilton, Ryan Robinson, Duncan Smith, and Jahvin Ashley, veterans from last season, St George’s took out Jamaica College 3-2 at the Jamaica Tae-kwondo Academy Open. Doubling as Jamaica College’s coach, Lawrence said that inexperience got the better of his lads but he is depending on new drills to have the younger team members provide better support to Sharic Bowen, Justin Brown, and Daniel White.

“St George’s knew how to manoeuvre the ring better than my fighters. I had a few new guys. St George’s knew how to pick points, which gave them the edge,” he said.

Meanwhile, Calabar, who have been hobbled by the loss of Webb Jr, Tye McKay, and Tyrique Tai-Loy are off to their worst start ever but aren’t being written off by Lawrence.

“Calabar are taking their time to develop persons to fill the void. In due time, we will see a stronger Calabar evolving,” he said.