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JC stop KC for high-school crown
Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer
JAMAICA COLLEGE, captained by new team member Dominic Young, stopped Kingston College to win their first Busta-McKay Security High Schools League title on Saturday in the final leg of the series at the McKay Security Junior Open Championship and Blackbelt Invitational at the University of Technology.
The league is run over three tournaments with points coming from the Tae kwon do Open in April, Seido Karate Open in June and Saturday's final leg.
JC trounced Calabar to walk into the final, whereas KC easily got past Cornwall College. JC, spurred by Young, a new national squad member, turned back KC, who were dressed in their school colours of purple and white.
Peter Lue, chief instructor at Jamaica Tae kwon do, said the response was overwhelming as traditional Jamaica high school rivalry was at its best.
"It was a huge success as a junior tournament, the only one of its kind in Jamaica. It gives them a chance to display their skills against each other and lift the standards of martial arts," he noted. "Competition among the high schools was also a big draw. It lifts the standard of the high schools programme. The response from high schools have been overwhelming.
"When we have the training for the four schools on a Saturday, the gym is full. Many kids want to get in, not just the sport side, but also the discipline we're trying to instil, especially the young men. Males have a problem in society and we at Jamaica Tae kwon do teach the art, trying to mould them into better humans to instil discipline, morals and respect."
Meanwhile, Tashauna Grannum ruled the individual junior black belt division despite having a disappointing international. She stood alone as the number one junior female black belt in the country, finishing the 2008 season with a third straight win in as many local tournaments.
The Campion College teen entered the ring fresh from competing in Italy - representing Jamaica at the Tae kwon do World Cup - and showed determination to silence her detractors.
The day started with the senior black belt invitational, which had the top four Busta league fighters in respective weight divisions on show. With cash prizes and bragging rights on the table, combined martial arts team members ruled without mercy. In some cases, their opponents failed to show and those who did were no match.
No-shows from Nigel Gardener of Future Leaders and Trinidadian lightweight Maragh left the 2008 Tae kwon do World Cup microweight champion Alrick Wanliss to face off with teammate and Pan-Am lightweight gold medallist Nicholas Dussard.
In the middleweight division, Future Leaders' Dwayne Vascianne did not back from the challenge and lost to former world Seido champion Omar Rose.
The veteran Arthur Barrows, the third qualifier for the middleweight best-of-best, failed to take the call on an injury call.
The women's division, an open weight category, was full of surprises as Karyll Bennett, last year's Busta League champion, proved everybody wrong by defeating Sheckema Cunningham, for the first time ever, in the final.