Team title pushes Jamaica fighters to five gold
JAMAICA’s martial artists closed the International Sports Kickboxing Association’s (ISKA) Amateur Members Association World Championships at the Neptune Stadium in Cork City, Ireland, on Saturday by taking gold against England in a three-man team fight, retaining the title they had won at home in Montego Bay last year.
Fielding the smallest contingent, three fighters, at the championships, Jamaica ended with an overall tally of five gold, a silver and a bronze, falling short of ambitious pre-tournament predictions of seven gold medals.
Favourites against England, Jamaica got a flying start from lightweight and captain, Ackeem Lawrence. However, England rallied to pull level after many-time world medallist Kyle Findley edged past Nicholas Dusard.
However, heavyweight Richard Stone, the man of the tournament, already laden with two individual gold medals, safely piloted Jamaica to their seventh medal and fifth gold – and his third – proving too much for his Briton challenger.
Jamaica hosted the championships at the Montego Bay Convention Centre last year and topped honours in the continuous and point divisions, racking up 118 medals – 27 gold, 35 silver and 56 bronze – bettered only by England’s 126, and finishing third, in terms of quality, behind the United States
ISKA was full of praise for Jamaica’s 2018 hosting of the event, stating on its website for the 2019 championships, “2018 has been the most successful year so far for the ISKA Amateur Member Association World Championships ... the Tatami Sports division was staged in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with the support of the Jamaican Tourist Board … the finale of the Montego Bay Championships was an evening gala show, featuring selected finals and team matches broadcast live … in attendance was special guest, former undisputed World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Lennox Lewis”.