Ja mar­tial artists ready for 2017 US Open

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Ains­ley Wal­ters Gleaner Writer

JA­MAICAN MAR­TIAL artists from five or­gan­i­sa­tions, bol­stered by mem­bers of Ja­maica’s male and fe­male com­bined mar­tial arts teams, in ad­di­tion to par­tic­i­pants in the McKay Se­cu­rity Ja­maica Taek­won-Do High School League, are aim­ing at an­other record-break­ing per­for­mance at the June 28-July 2 United States Open in Or­lando, Florida.

Last year, Ja­maica won 80 medals at the In­ter­na­tional Sports Karate As­so­ci­a­tion­sanc­tioned event, eight fewer than 2015, but made up in qual­ity where they lost out on quan­tity by bag­ging 34 gold, one more than the pre­vi­ous year.

The per­for­mance drew con­grat­u­la­tions from Sports Min­is­ter Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who lauded the del­e­ga­tion.

IN­SPIR­ING SUC­CESS

“Both ju­nior and se­nior play­ers from the mar­tial arts – tae kwon do, karate and Seido – have been fly­ing the Ja­maican flag re­ally high. I have been fol­low­ing their im­pres­sive progress and the suc­cess is in­spir­ing, to say the least,” said the sports min­is­ter, whose com­men­da­tions, head of del­e­ga­tion Ja­son McKay said, will serve to spur the team, es­pe­cially the high-school chil­dren.

“You would not be­lieve how much it meant, to the chil­dren es­pe­cially, to read in the news­pa­per that the coun­try’s sports min­is­ter was con­grat­u­lat­ing them,” McKay pointed out.

In ad­di­tion to sea­soned veter­ans from the com­bined mar­tial arts teams, chil­dren from Ja­maica Taek­won-Do Cen­tre, Ul­ti­mate Taek­won-Do, Man­dev­ille Taek­won-Do, Ris­ing Sun Karate, Fu­ture Lead­ers Karate and high schools, led by de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons Cal­abar, Ja­maica Col­lege, Kingston Col­lege, Wolmer’s and St Ge­orge’s Col­lege will vie for US Open ti­tles in con­tin­u­ous, points and clash spar­ring.

Among the high­lights of the US Open will be Ja­maica’s fe­male com­bined team tak­ing on their re­gional ri­vals in the Caribbean Taek­won-Do Cup to open the tour­na­ment on Thurs­day, and close the Night of Cham­pi­ons, an ESPN-tele­vised event in which mul­ti­ple ISKA World Cham­pion Sub­rina Richards will face 2015 In­ter­na­tional Taek­won-Do Fed­er­a­tion Camila Canut of Ar­gentina.

FILE

Ja­maica’s Sub­rina Richards (cen­tre) cel­e­brates af­ter beat­ing Ger­many’s Viarouge Manon (left) and Jenny Dahlstrom to win the mid­dleweight points-spar­ring gold at the In­ter­na­tional Sport Kick-boxing As­so­ci­a­tion Am­a­teur World Cham­pi­onships in Athens, Greece, ear­lier this month.

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