McKay looking to 2019
VETERAN martial artist Jason McKay said he is not trying to regain captaincy of Jamaica's combined martial arts team but instead showing that sportsmen can extend their careers by remaining active and competing with the best.
The former captain failed to qualify for the 2018 combined martial arts squad, which he conceptualised more than two decades ago. Fighting injuries and refusing to retire, he underwent physiotherapy and strength training, determined to make a 2019 qualification bid, which he started last week by winning gold in Hood River, Oregon.
"I have been doing rehab for leg injuries with physiotherapist Ina Daley, as well as focusing on my strength work with personal trainer Camendo Thoms, so I have been off the team but certainly not retired.
"The physio and strength training got me back on the mat without surgery. It is my intention to qualify for the combined team in 2019 with the wins I am working for this season, starting in Hood River," he added.
McKay started his comeback by easily beating Zenk Murray to win one of three gold medals to join combined team veterans Kenneth Edwards and Nicholas Dusard on the winners' podium.
Having not made the 2018 team, McKay fought unattached for the first time in 23 years and in gear competing with the combined team's clothing brand.
However, he has accepted that he will have to pay his way, hoping he compiles enough points this season to make the 2019 team to benefit from gear and tournament sponsorship.