Sport

ITF World Cup starts today

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Wednesday, August 27, 2014    

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ROSE HALL, St James — All is set for this morning’s start of the largest-ever martial arts competition to be staged in the country, the International Tae kwon do Federation’s (ITF) World Cup, at the Montego Bay Conference Centre in Rose Hall.

Jason McKay, one of the chief architects of the local staging of the event, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that with the exception of a few overseas fighters not arriving yet due to visa issues, “things are going great and we are ready to go”.

Olympian Kenneth Edwards and World Cup silver medallist Nicholas Dussard will be among the many Jamaican stars who will be on show, as well as Adrian Moore, Ashieka Dyer, Sheckema Cunningham, Subrina Richards and Alrick Wanliss, who is from Montego Bay.

The opening ceremony will start at 6:00 pm, also at the Conference Centre. Fighters will represent various clubs or schools from their various countries at the World Cup and this differs from the ITF World Championships where the fighters represent their respective countries.

Three schools/clubs from Jamaica — Mandeville Tae kwon do Centre, Ultimate and Red Dragon Tae kwon do and Jamaica Tae kwon do Centre are among the 60 registered clubs/schools.

Over 700 competitors in various age groups, weight classes and degrees of abilities from all corners of the globe are down to take part in the four days of fighting. Speaking to the Observer during a meeting of coaches at the venue, McKay said that although some fighters from Europe had issues getting visas to travel through Russia, they were ready to start competition at 8:00 am.

Jamaica will be represented by the largest delegation ever, over 80 fighters, up from the usual 16 or so, and this McKay said was because the championships are being held here. Four Jamaicans will not be able to participate, however, as they failed to make their weight classes at yesterday’s weigh-in.

Tashauna Grannum, Maya McKay, Nicholi Pink and black belt Trevor Webb failed to make the weight and were withdrawn from their individual events. McKay and Grannum will fight in a female team event on Saturday, however.

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