All-high school squad summoned
JAMAICA's combined martial arts team has summoned an all-high school male team to a summer camp ahead of international tournaments in September - the International Sports Karate Association New York Open and the International Taekwon-Do Federation New York Open.
Fighters from Calabar are expected to dominate the squad after their five-medal haul at the recent International Sports Karate Association's United States Open in Orlando, Florida.
St George's College's Ryan Johnson, who won gold in the 14-15 intermediate and beginners division, and Duncan Smith, silver medallist in 16-17 black belt are expected to be in consideration.
Tyrique Tai-Loy, Tye McKay, Daniel Azan, Lammari Johnson and Gabe Riley are up for selection from Calabar, who will noticebaly be without their captain, Trevor Webb Jr.
Webb is being reserved to fight in the adult division, World Taekwon-Do Federation (WTF) style, as part of the combined team's effort to launch into the Olympic version of tae kwon do.
The team's selector and coach, Jason McKay, said though it is still a struggle for "outsiders" to gain membership to the Jamaica Taekwon-Do Federation (JTF), the local arm of the WTF, he would continue placing his fighters in competitions overseas.
"I am not really into the JTF and its membership game. I don't know how much longer Jamaica and the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will tolerate a bunch of guys playing games with athletes," McKay said, pointing out that Webb Jr had applied for membership of the JTF and wasn't even afforded a reply.
"We will continue placing our fighters in WTF competitions worldwide. We anticipate that sooner or later the JOA will eventually do something about this situation," he added.
Webb Jr fought in the 18 and over, male black belt, 169-and-under division, continuous sparring, at the US Open. The Calabar schoolboy fought among adults, losing to a Guatemalan in the semi-finals of the tough division, which was won by Jamaica's Adrian Moore.