With just three weeks of training, newcomer Shauna-Kay Hines made history by becoming Jamaica’s first contestant and medallist in a World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) event, having walked away with a silver medal in the US Open Para Taekwondo Championships in Las Vegas last Wednesday. “She missed the gold by one point!” her coach Conrad Jenkins said. In preparation to compete in the WTF Para Taekwondo in the 2020 Tokyo Para Olympic Games, Hines will have to now compete at the international level to add to the six points she gained in the world ranking system. Twenty athletes from seven countries – USA, Canada, France, India, Mexico, Japan and Jamaica – competed in the US Open Para Taekwondo Championships. Coach Jenkins said Hines was selected to represent Jamaica through an assessment and interview process, by meeting the minimum impairment criteria by the WTF Para Taekwondo Department Classifiers, as well as training and fighting with male black belt holders in Jamaica. “She had no previous experience in Taekwondo, but was a long-distance track athlete,” Coach Jenkins said.
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