All roads will lead to the Barbados Community College this weekend as Barbados attempt to defend home turf when they play hosts over two days to five other regional teams in the 10th annual Caribbean Karate Championships.
Barbados’ 34-member strong team will be led by Corey Greaves and they will be facing stiff competition from the best out of Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. each day. Competitors will be testing their skills in the traditional martial art of Shotokan Karate.
The Barbados team was announced on Monday at the Barbados Shotokan Karate Club, Marine Gardens and is a well balanced team in the adults and masters divisions of the championships. In the junior division there are a number of members who will be making their national debut in the tournament.
Greaves, along with team-mates Michael Mikey Mercer, Andre Lovell and Kevin Cox, who have previously represented Barbados at both the regional and international level, said they were ready to defend their various titles.
These four will be contesting in the individual and team events. Also worthy of mention is Oliver Browne, who will be competing for the first time. Kyle Fenty is the lone competitor in the 17-19 years age group.
In the women’s category there is also a wealth of experience in Janelle Linton, Keisha Grimes, Allison James, Shari Cadogan and Angela Dixon. The debutant of this group is Lisa Eastmond who will be contesting in the team Embu event.
In the masters category, there are two members who will be making their debut – Robert Chase and Ricky Brathwaite. Winston Mascoll, after a few years’ absence, is returning to competition, along with fellow team members Martin King, James Marshall and Ian Holligan in this division.
Competitors will battle it out in Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring) in both individual and team events in all age categories. Team Bunkai and Team Embu are the other team events slated for the championships.
This evening Greaves told Barbados TODAY that his team had an excellent chance of copping the majority of the medals up for grabs on the weekend.
“We have an excellent chance of doing quite well. We have members who have been part of a gold medal-winning team that competed at the Pan-American level. We have bronze medallists at the international level and over the past five years we have dominated at the team Kata,” he said.
Greaves noted that though the debutants on the Barbados team would not be competing at the individual level, he expected them to put in a good showing in the team events. He explained that Team Barbados expected their greatest challenge to come from the Trinidad and Tobago squad which arrived in Barbados this morning.
The Guyana team came into Barbados yesterday. The Barbados captain said he also expected good competition from the Guyanese, especially among the females.
However, he noted that Jamaica were now in a restructuring phase following a split in their domestic organisation and it would be a pleasant surprise if they finished among the top teams. Sensei Jeffrey Wong and Lavern Jones who prepared the Guyana team at the Malteenoes Cricket Club prior to their arrival in Barbados have expressed confidence in their charges.
Wong said that he was confident that the Guyanese would do well at the championships. His sentiments were echoed by vice president and public relations officer of the Guyana Karate College, Wayne Orderson, who said that the Guyanese karatekas were of a very high standard.
He said his charges performed exceptionally well when they participated in the same tournament in 2011 in Grenada. He added the Guyanese also excelled at a similar tournament in Barbados six years ago. Some of those in the Guyana squad are females Hannah Farinha, Aliya Wong, Kerry Ramkumar and Tashan Wong.
The males will be led by Tyler Orderson, Yannick Rameshwar, Eric Hing and Carlos Gonsalves. Grenada will be bringing a seven-member squad to the championships.
Barbados squad: Adult Division: Men – Corey Greaves, Andre Lovell, Michael Mercer, Kevin Cox, Oliver BrowneWomen – Shari Cadogan, Keisha Grimes, Allison James, Janelle Linton, Lisa Eastmond, Angela Dixon.
Masters Division: Men – Martin King, James Marshall, Winston Mascoll, Ian Holligan, Ricky Brathwaite, Robert Chase.
Junior Division: 8-10 yrs Boys – Gerrard Seale, Joshua Hinds, Ronaldo Hinds, Kai Alleyne, Tyrese Benskin, Niyimi Joseph. Girls – Asha Stevenson, Destiny Morris 11-13 yrs Boys – Kennie King, Mario Elliott, Joseph Tseu, Shamar Forde, Kodie King, Ronaldo Gill. 14-16 yrs Boys – Terrell DavisGirls – Shannan Skeete17-19 yrs – Kyle Fenty Coach – Neil Skeete