Jamaican fighters bag 5 medals on opening day of ITF World Cup
J’can fighters make record haul on opening day of ITF World Cup
ROSE HALL, St James — Jamaican fighters got off to a great start at the fifth International Tae Kwon do Federation (ITF) World Cup at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James, yesterday, bagging a record five medals, two gold, two silver, and a bronze in individual sparring competition.
Teenagers Chavaughn Wilkins of Kingston and Jahsiah McLean of Mandeville both won gold medals, Tye McKay won silver, while Jomo Godfrey of Montego Bay won a bronze medal in the pre-Juniors coloured belt section.
Forty-two-year-old David Hall, who is making a return to the event, also won a silver medal in the men's black belt 68-kilo category.
The five medals easily surpassed the two won in Brighton, England, two years ago, and a pleased Arthur Burrowes, president of the Jamaica Tae kwon do Federation said they were expecting more as the week progresses.
Jamaicans also took part in patterns competitions, but up to press time it was not known if any had advanced to the medal round.
Burrowes, who just failed to advance in the power break competition, finishing sixth and missing the final by one place, was however beaming and told the Jamaica Observer he was pleased with the day's events.
"The advantage on the first day of being at home is that we have numbers," he said. "In our history of competition at either the World Cup or World Championships we have never won more than two medals and this is a great start."
Burrowes added: "We are anticipating a tremendous haul of at least 10 medals and to finish in the top two in the standing."
Wilkins, who is entering grade nine at Jamaica College and who has been fighting for just over two years, said his gold medals showed his training was paying off.
The US Open double medallist beat Argentine Fernando Grabobi in the final after getting past compatriot Godfrey in the semi-final of the boys' 60-kilo class.
McLean of Manchester High, who was winning his first major medal, told the Observer that he was nervous at the start "but, as the competition continued, I felt more confident".
Hall was happy for his silver medal, but said, "I was really hoping for the gold," after going down 1-3 to Argentina's Esteban Lafuente, though he had taken the early lead. He added: "I hope this is not my last major medal."
McKay's silver came in the boys' 45-kilo weight class.