Jamaica continue to dominate at ITF World Champs

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, August 29, 2014

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SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD junior black belt Delano Francis and two junior coloured belt medal clean sweeps ignited a loud Jamaican cheering section at yesterday's second day of the fifth International Tae kwon do Federation's (ITF's) World Cup at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James.

Francis won the first black belt gold for the hosts, outclassing Puerto Rico's Gustavo M Lipezker-Salas 3-1 in the final, as Jamaica added 10 medals on the second day to have 19 overall - six gold, five silver and eight bronze.

Jamaica swept all the medals in the boys' junior coloured belt under 50kilo and under 68kilo weight groups.

Additionally, the father-and-son pair of David Hall senior and junior also bagged gold medals on a wonderful day for Jamaican martial arts.

In the black belt final, Francis raced to an early 4-0 lead then controlled the two three-minute rounds and was comfortably ahead at 3-1 as the Jamaican contingent boisterously counted down the final seconds as he eluded the swift Puerto Rican for the gold.

It was a literal dream come true as Francis said he had dreamt the night before that he had won the gold medal in his first World Cup appearance.

Late Wednesday, Jamaica had added four medals, a silver and three bronze to finish the day with nine overall.

Richard Stone and Keneil Reid won silver and bronze in the senior men's 18-35 patterns; Alexia Webb won bronze in the junior girls' 15-18 patterns, while Kahleel Haighs won bronze in the boys' 12-14 pre-juniors 60kg sparring.

Yesterday, Tajh Hewitt won the gold in the under 50kg division, beating compatriot Christopher Campbell in the final, while Akeem Bancroft took the bronze. Bancroft had earlier lost to Campbell in the semi-finals.

Later in the day, Deandre Leith battled David Hall Jnr in an exciting under 69kg final, and with little to separate them, it took sudden death extra time to provide a winner. Leith proved to be the faster of the two as Hall, hampered by a heavily bandaged knee, settled for the silver.

David Watkin shared the bronze with Slovenia's Alen Preloznik.

Paz Rodriques took the under 56k gold, beating England's Edward Weston in the final, while Joshane Thompson of Jamaica took the bronze.

Hakeem Dunkley won a bronze in the under 62kg section.





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