by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Grenada placed third in World Association of Kickboxing Organisation Caribbean International Championship
- Second leg of tournament in Mexico, with finals set for China
A team of young and upcoming Grenadian martial arts fighters placed 3rd in their first ever World Association of Kickboxing Organisation (WAKO) Caribbean International Championship.
The first leg of the tournament took place in Trinidad and Tobago from 12-15 July. The team comprising of Kysier Matthew, Konnah Matthew, D’Mario Guerre and Donte Sandy was led by Taekwondo Chief Instructor Melvaughn Coutain.
Speaking with NOW Grenada, Coutain said the team must now prepare to undertake the second leg of the tournament in Mexico in October, with finals set for China. “Grenada was invited to take part in the tournament because they are trying to get us on board, so we went there with a team and came back with 5 medals. The young kids took part in what is referred to in the sport of Taekwondo as kata and sparing, and their point standing was not bad, so they qualified for the next leg in Mexico.”
Coutain continues to be a strong advocate for the development of Taekwondo as a sport in Grenada. He said in order to get to the next leg of the tournament, the team must undertake some fundraising efforts. “We have to do some serious fundraising because it is quite costly to take part in these types of competitions but if we qualify in Mexico the final championship will be in China.”
Wako Central America and Caribbean Open, a premier kickboxing event, was started in Europe in 1976 by its founder Georg Bruckner from Berlin, who promoted the first ever World Championships in the semi and full contact karate. Today WAKO counts on 128 affiliated nations in the 5 continents, which are officially recognised by either national olympic committee or relevant national government sports authority.