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Taekwondo Association preps for competition

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Taekwondo Association (SVGTA) is in preparation, as the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, to be held in Barranquilla, Colombia from July 18 to August 3, approaches.

Isaac Sandy, an 18-year-old first degree black belt holder, who has been training at the Yin Yang Martial Arts and Fitness Centre just shy of four years, has travelled to Mexico to commence intense training ahead of both the March 6-8 Qualifier Championships for the CAC Games and the March 8-11 Mexico Open Taekwondo Championships for 2018.

Sandy left the state on Wednesday, February 14, accompanied by 4th dan black belt holder, Master Vanburn Harry, who will then hand the reins over to 5th dan black belt Korean coach Master Doowhan Choi. The training camp, which is sponsored by the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) through the National Olympic Committee (NOC), begins immediately upon his arrival, at the Mexico City High Performance Centre, located in Magdalena, Mixhuca and runs up to March 4.

Sandy, a first-timer in international competition, who will compete in sparring, has indicated that he expects training to be “really challenging”, as he would be training most of the day at the training camp. He commented that he will be going with an open mind and with the intention of doing his best, while “expecting anything”. While he recognizes that there is some pressure in being the only Vincentian participant, he chooses not to become overwhelmed by it.

Harry, who is also the president of the SVGTA, has stated that “he is confident in Isaac’s ability as an athlete”. He continued, “I expect the camp to do exactly what it is designed for: to help him (Isaac) perform better.” The president also highlighted the fact that the competition would be a difficult one, but expressed optimism in Sandy’s potential to qualify for the CAC Games. While in his estimation two weeks of training at the centre is not nearly enough for preparation, he voiced gratitude to the NOC for making the programme possible. In expressing his appreciation for the opportunity afforded the SVGTA, he pledges his commitment to pursue more programmes of a similar nature, to ensure that Vincentian taekwondo athletes could compete with confidence on an international stage and bring home excellent results.

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