A Trio of Jamaica Taek-wondo Federation fighters, led by Craig Brown, has earned qualification to November’s World Taekwondo Federation Caribbean and Central America (CAC) Games in Vera Cruz, Mexico, as per jamaica-gleaner.com.
Brown won silver in the -87kg middleweight category CAC qualifying final, beaten by a Cuban, at the dual tournament held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, April 2-6.
Jason Grant and Cyriese Hall finished fifth and seventh, respectively, making the cut in their CAC-qualifying weight divisions.
Bruce Rickman, fighting in the -68kg featherweight division, failed to qualify for Mexico.
Conrad Jenkins, who travelled as an international referee, said Rickman was fighting outside his natural weight category.
“For females, it is the top eight that qualify and the top 10 for men,” Jenkins explained.
“We changed weight with Bruce. He is normally a bantamweight, -63kg. He gained a lot of weight so he entered as a featherweight, -68kg, where there were a lot of fast and experienced fighters. Bruce is not experienced enough, so we have to take him back to bantamweight,” Jenkins added.
Whereas none of the Jamaicans medalled in the accompanying April 4-6 First Santo Domingo Open Taekwondo Championships, Jenkins, adjudged the best male referee over five days, explained that the tournament was rated G1 under the new WTF rankings, which started last July.
“At the last World Taekwondo Championships, Puebla, Mexico, a points system was implemented to determine world ranking of fighters and points accumulation for the new Grand Prix series, all of which go towards Olympic qualification.
TOP FIGHTERS ATTRACTED
“Therefore, the Santo Domingo Open attracted top fighters such as two-time Olympic gold medallist, Steven Lopez of the USA, who beat Craig Brown for gold,” Jenkins pointed out.
The Grand Prix series started last December in Manchester, England, featuring the world’s top-ranked 32 fighters in each weight division.
Jamaica‘s London 2012 Olympian, Kenneth Edwards, was ranked 32nd in the -87kg category but was unable to accept an invitation to Manchester because of a pending drug offence, later cleared by the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission.
“There are four Grand Prix events this year; June in China; Kazakhstan in August; Manchester, England, in October; and the final will be in Mexico, December,” Jenkins pointed out.
Jamaica is weighing its options whether to travel to the Bolivia Open or China Grand Prix in June.
“What we are planning to do is look at the points system and funding. Neither are International Olympic Committee events, so costs are not covered by the Jamaica Olympic Association,” he explained.