Cunningham delivers Jamaica's second gold
SHECKEMA Cunningham on Thursday delivered the gold medal she didn't get a chance to compete for a year ago in Germany, proving to coach Jason McKay that she can still trade punches and kicks with the best martial artists in the world.
Cunningham handed Jamaica its second gold at the 2017 International Sport Kick Boxing Association (ISKA) Amateur Members Association World Championships in Athens, Greece, landing the microweight female black belt title in her first appearance at the tournament.
Cunningham, 31, and Jamaica's second-most decorated female fighter ever, was cut from last year's squad to Stuttgart, Germany, due to insufficient training time.
Biggest achievement yet
However, she returned with a bang, grabbing double gold at the US Open, starting a comeback which resulted in her first ISKA Amateur Members Association World Championships title.
"I have been doing martial arts for a very long time and I have been on the international circuit for quite some time. However, this ISKA World Champs first-place medal is my biggest achievement yet, my very first world champs medal and I am grateful for that. I am really, really looking forward to defend my title in Jamaica next year," she said.
After watching teammate Akino Lindsay win Jamaica's first medal on Wednesday's opening day, an inspired Cunningham came out firing to beat Semin Karabazar of Germany in semis action followed by Lagoudia Auglin of Greece to take the microweight crown.
Jamaica are eyeing four gold medals at the tournament with Ackeem Lawrence and two-time defending champion Subrina Richards set to take the mat this weekend.
The 2018 ISKA Amateur Members Association World Championships is set for Montego Bay and Jamaica are trying to field at least four defending champions on home soil.