Martial arts team looks to impress at US Open
Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer
FIGHTERS from Jamaica's combined martial arts team, Jamaica Taekwondo Association, Ningen Karate, Rising Sun Karate and First Zendo Karate will travel with six officials to Orlando on Thursday morning for the International Sport Karate Association's (ISKA) US Open World Martial Arts Championships.
The island will field 53 athletes from five martial arts groups, taking on the world's best at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, July 11-12.
Jamaica will be using the tournament, the world's biggest martial arts open, as a show of force ahead of the August 26-30 International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) World Cup on home soil in Montego Bay.
Jamaica had a record haul of 91 medals last year, 30 gold included, and are ready to face the world's best in sparring, weapons and forms in Orlando.
Rising Sun Karate took home 33 medals, 11 gold, last year, bettering Jamaica Taekwondo's 27, including nine gold.
Jamaica's combined martial arts male and female teams won gold and silver, respectively, in last year's Continental Gold Cup at the event and will again have Claude Chin and Jason McKay as coaches.
The combined team will field nine competitors, including Olympian Kenneth Edwards, International Sport Kickboxing Association World Champion Nicholas Dusard and ITF World Championship bronze medallist Sheckema Cunningham.
Arthur Barrows, president, and Joleen Masters, secretary, lead the Jamaica Taekwondo Association team. Keith Edwards heads Ningen Karate and Heather Campbell of Rising Sun leads her group as well as First Zendo.
Combined martial arts team: Subrina Richards, Marissa Jones, Sheckema Cunningham, Ashieka Dyer, Ackeem Lawrence, Demar King, Nicholas Dusard, Phillip McDowell, Kenneth Edwards and Adrian Moore.
Jamaica Taekwondo: Akino Lindsay, Tahj Hewitt, Richard Stone, Christopher Campbell, Jaeland Hamm, Nicholai Pink, Joshane Thompson, Demany Gayle, Paz Rodriques, Tye McKay, Akeel Andrews, Romario Henry.
Rising Sun: Sharissa Sterling, Jaiden Weir-Jackson, Abigail Williams, Zaria Sterling, Daijon Budhai, Samir Doshi, Alessandro Doshi, Joshua Williams Khain Henry, Lee-Michael Henry, Russel English.
First Zendo: Tyrell Lindsay, Beaverbrook Wiggan, Leopold Wiggan, Lincoln Wiggan, Shanoy Shattock, Rasheed James, Nicolas Campbell.
NIngen: Jordon Scott, Kasey Jureidini, Christopher Booth, Dirk Harrison, Liam Harrison, Atario Brown, Trevonique Wilson, Jeyna Allison, Karette Donaldson, Javion Davis, Itrina Markland, Vitoria Keith and Scott Wright.