Young fighters impress at Pan Am Taekwondo Championships

By June 27, 2019

Coach Wayne Smith is buzzing over the success of a Jamaican Taekwondo team that performed ‘above expectations’ at the Pan Am Taekwondo Championships held in Ocala, Florida, this past weekend.

The team comprised of athletes from two clubs – ITF Tong-IL-Do Jamaica and the Jamaica Taekwon-Do Academy/Federation – won a total of 15 medals including six gold, five silver and four bronze medals while competing against teams from 19 other countries.

“The performance was beyond expectation as this was the first time we had entered the Pan Am championship representing the Original ITF,” Smith told Sportsmax.TV.

“Although they are a young team they have grit and character.”

The fighters were from Jamaica, USA, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Wales, Ethiopia, Honduras, Grenada, Mongolia, Mexico, Canada, and Chile.

Ranging from ages 5 to 60, the martial artists competed in sparring and patterns. Smith’s fighters, eight-year-old Ryan Gordon won gold in sparring and silver in patterns; seven-year-old Alyssa Anne Beaumont won two silver medals and nine-year-old Joshua Heholt won two bronze medals.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Daniel Wright won a gold medal in pattern and bronze in sparring and 19-year-old Jemar Costley won two bronze medals. Eight-year-old Govind Venugopal won gold in sparring and silver in patterns.

Jamaica Taekwondo’s fighters came away with three gold medals.

Trevor Webb Jr won gold in sparring while Racquel Colleso won two gold medals.

Smith expressed his gratitude to the parents of the athletes, saying their support made everything possible.

“It shows what parental support along with a good program can do to the development of children,” he said. “The Taekwon-Do program is also designed to build character and we encourage them to see themselves as future nation builders.”

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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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