Jessica Cargill wins gold at Pan Am Championships, silver for Alton Brown

By March 25, 2019

Jamaica’s Jessica Cargill won a historic gold medal at the Pan American Championships in Panama on Saturday while teammate Alton Brown came away with a silver medal. Both athletes are members of the newly formed Jamaica Karate Federation.

In winning, Cargill successfully qualified Jamaica at the International Olympic Committee-sanctioned Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, in August. Never before has Jamaica had an athlete compete in karate at an IOC (International Olympic Committee)-backed tournament.

“I can’t believe this has happened and I am so happy to have qualified for the Pan Am Games,” said Cargill. “This is a first for karate and I am proud to represent Jamaica.”

Cargill beat Yoandra Moreno-Perez of Cuba, 5-1, before completely dominating Aguilar Lizetta from El Salvador, 3-0 in the final. This was Jamaica’s first attempt at qualifying since the newly-formed World Karate Federation (WKF) approved the JKF.

She expressed her gratitude to the Jamaica Olympic Association for making the trip possible.

“I am forever grateful for the support of the JOA, my coaches Jason McKay and Raphael Veras, Jamaica WKF Rep and Head of Delegation, Nathaniel Peat, as well as JKF President, Tony Robinson, my training partner Valentinya Zolotarova and my teammates Alton Brown and Kenneth Edwards,” Cargill said.

Ryan Foster, General Secretary of the JOA, in recognising the accomplishment of the fighters, noted their commitment in granting opportunities to the nation’s sportsmen and women.

"The JOA is extremely happy to have fully sponsored our karate team in the Pan American Championships, with Cargill coming out with a gold medal. Alton Brown (also) won a silver medal is his competition,” said Foster.

“The JOA has continued from where we left off last year in allowing our members to self-actualise on their dreams. Tony and the Karate Federation are fully on board with our 10 in 20 campaign and we expect the upcoming Pan Am Games to be our most successful yet, with karate being there for the first time."

Now that she has qualified, Cargill has her eyes set on making it to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. She will be granted immediate qualification to the Olympics if she is successful at the Lima Pan Am Games.

Cargill and her teammates, former Tae Kwon Do star and Olympian, Edwards and Brown, a former European karate champion, participated at the Pan American senior championships, which took place from March 18-23 in Panama.

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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