According to jamaica-gleaner.com, Jamaica’s combined martial arts team has been creating waves internationally having gone unbeaten since 2004, but though no longer a competitive fighter, another man who is oftentimes in the thick of things and is also making a name for himself is second-class international referee, Conrad Jenkins.
Jenkins, who is the only local-based international martial arts referee, is set to land another major championship under his belt after being appointed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), the governing body for tae kwon do globally, to officiate at the 2013 WTF World Cup Team Taekwondo Championship in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, from November 28-30.
“It is significant, because in Jamaica I am the only international referee, but in the Pan American region we have over 2,000 international referees,” Jenkins stated. “For me to be appointed by the world body is surprising and it means they are recognising my job in terms of officiating at previous events.”
fifth major tournament
This will be the 44-year-old’s fifth major tournament within the calendar year, having officiated at the Canada Open Taekwondo Championships in Toronto (May 2-5), WTF World Taekwondo Championship in Mexico (July 15-21), Pan Am Junior and Open Taekwondo Championship also in Mexico (September 20-22) and the Costa Rica Open Taekwondo Championship in Costa Rica (October 5-6).
Jenkins is hoping that the trend of major tournaments will result in him being appointed to officiate at the 2016 Olympics.
“I am a senior referee in the Pan American region, because I was recently appointed as a Pan American Taekwondo Union Committee member,” Jenkins shared. “There are roughly 12 referees from the Pan American region making up this committee and for me to be a part of that means they are categorising me as a senior referee and they are considering me for great things. It is all leading up to the 2016 Olympics.”
Jenkins is slated to leave the island today for the championship and should return on December 3. He is hoping to get the opportunity to officiate in the final at the championships.
“At the World Championships in Mexico, which was my first World Championships, they gave me the semi-final between Korea and Germany,” Jenkins shared. “I was honoured to be given that, because all 30 referees that participated at the London 2012 Olympics were there, so I am hoping to move one step further now and get the final.”
The fourth-degree black belt holder represented Jamaica in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1996, he won the grand champion trophy and gold medal at the Fort Lauderdale Open Taekwondo Championship.