NICHOLAS Dusard struck gold in Russia last weekend when he beat Russia’s Alexander Leonov in the lightweight final of the Intercontinental Cup of Taekwondo in Siberia.The Jamaica combined martial arts team captain led Jamaica’s two-medal haul. Seventeen-year-old Calabar High schoolboy, Trevor Webb Jr, won silver on his first tour with the team, which faced hosts Russia, Greece and Germany.Dusard beat Germany’s Ibrahim Guelhan to reach the lightweight final against Leonov. His victory made him the first Jamaican martial artist to win gold in a major tournament on Russian soil, continuing his successful comeback from injury this season.Up against the bestThe victory propelled Dusard’s combined team ranking, following his bronze-medal performance at the International Taekwon-Do Federation’s World Championships in August. He had previously won gold against old rival Julio Carlos on the International Sports Karate Association’s Night of Champions at the US Open in July.”We were up against the best in Europe and knew it was always going to be hard. It has been great for me. Coming back from injury, with doubts of making the combined team, to be victorious in Russia was great,” said Dusard, who was coached by Claude Chin.Meanwhile, Calabar’s Webb Jr showed his class on his first call to the combined team. He defeated Germany’s Artem Gurdzhi in semi-final action, before going down to Russia’s Vadim Volikov in the final.”The first fight wasn’t really hard, but the second fight was a challenge. The guy wasn’t really good on his legs, but punched really hard. I lost mainly on aggression punches. I was scoring points, but the judges didn’t go my way,” said the 17-year-old coached by Jason McKay.”I am returning home to work on more fitness and flexibility to have more control over my body. I feel great. It was a victory for me. I am thankful for coach to have put out a lot of effort in preparing me for this event,” he added.McKay said Webb Jr had room for improvement.”Bearing in mind it was his first European competition and we only had him for six weeks, his inexperience showed. But it was an extremely spirited performance by the youngster,” he said.
After six weeks of intense training both physically and academically Miss Guyana World Ambika Ramraj completed her “Healthy Wholly Summer Camp” at the Sophia Special Needs School in Sophia Greater Georgetown at around 13:00h on Thursday.The proud students and Miss Guyana World Ambika Ramraj after their intense and fun six weeksThe summer camp was organized in collaboration with the National Sports Commission, the Social Cohesion Ministry and other stakeholders, with the aim of strengthening the mind and body of these students through physical activities, which can significantly improve their physical and mental health. It was noted that throughout the six weeks, coaches and other partnering stakeholders will work with the children on different aspects of their development.As the program progressed in its final stages in front of the now completed graduants Ramraj said that she was grateful for the experience that she had with the students, getting to know them and work along with them on a personal level especially the days they engaged in sporting activities such as cricket, basketball, football, swimming and table tennis and commended them for being the backbones of the program. Ramraj also encouraged the graduants that it was not the end of the program and that there will be other programs and hope that they would continue to show their support.The participants received certificates and other gifts for their participationThe faces of the children were ecstatic and beaming with joy as they knew that the entire six weeks was worth it, they had learned the value of team playing and gained experience on the different aspects of sports that were not known to them. Speaking with Guyana Times Sport one of the graduants stated that besides learning physical games such as cricket and football, he learned to play games that challenged the mind such as drafts and learned how to protect himself.In all the events that occurred over the six weeks, one could see a definite change in the demeanor of the children and that they were eager to learn more.