Dusard, Edwards lead off charge at ISKA US Open
Jamaica's martial artists kick-start action at the International Sports Karate Association (ISKA) United States Open this afternoon at 5:30, facing Russia and New Zealand in the Tri-Nation Gold Cup.
Captain Nicholas Dusard will lead out a squad which includes Adrian Moore, Nicholai Reid, Richard Stone, Kenneth Edwards, and Donald Francis.
Jamaica are defending champions of the Gold Cup, the annual curtain-raiser at the biggest martial arts open in the world.
Jamaica's starters for the three-man team were not announced up to press time, but it is almost certain that Dusard and Olympian Edwards of Jamaica Taekwon-Do and Ningen Karate, respectively, will take the mat.
Russia and New Zealand are also keeping their starters close to their chests as matchups are critical in team-fighting.
However, in Dusard and Edwards, Jamaica have two of the world's best middle to light heavyweight fighters, having won numerous international titles in varied martial arts forms.
Dusard, in particular, is fresh off a gold-medal winning performance at the recent International Taekwon-Do Federation Pan-Am Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The bulk of Jamaica's contingent arrived in Orlando yesterday afternoon, a big squad of 55, including fighters drawn from tae kwon do and karate schools across the island.
Jamaica are represented by Kingston Taekwon-Do, First Zendo Karate, Seido Karate, Future Leaders Karate, Rising Sun Karate and Ningen Karate.
The delegation includes world champions in various martial arts forms such as top adult female black belt Subrina Richards, up-and-coming junior coloured belts, as well as pee-wee fighters.
The island's martial artists won a record 88 medals at the US Open last year - 33 gold, 22 silver and 33 bronze.