Bajans hold their own in creole tournament
The 2015 edition of the Creole Boxing Tournament was held in Martinique from July 1 to 5.
For the first time in the seven-year history of the tournament, Barbados was specially invited to participate. This tournament is an annual one held for Creole-speaking Caribbean countries which include Dominica, Guadeloupe, Guyane (French Guyana), Haiti, Martinique, and St Lucia.
The Barbados team comprised seven boxers along with manager Kathy Harper-Hall and coach Laurence Hunte. There were five elite boxers in Ricardo Blackman Jr. (52 kg), Jamal Edmund (69 kg), Adrian Biscette (81 kg), Arkeem Isidore (91kg) and Anderson Emmanuel (91+ kg).
In addition, Cabral Barriteau-Foster participated as a novice 75kg and Jabali Breedy who is being prepared for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in September of this year, participated in the Youth Division (52kg).
All seven boxers gave very good performances and the team returned with three gold medals, two silver and two bronze. Jabali Breedy, Ricardo Blackman and Anderson Emmanuel won gold; Adrian Biscette and Arkeem Isidore took silver; and Cabral Barriteau-Foster and Jamal Edmund captured bronze.
The tournament was won by Martinique (33 points), with Guadeloupe placing second (23 points) and St. Lucia placing third (22 points). Barbados was fourth (15) points, followed by Guyane and Dominica (11 points respectively).
The tournament was organised to accommodate elite, novices, youth, junior and female boxers. Martinique and Guadeloupe especially had full teams while the other countries had reasonably large representations. Barbados was the only country with a small team, as this was on a special invitation.
While no awards were actually presented for individual outstanding performances, Jabali Breedy and Ricardo Blackman of Barbados, and Travis Maynard of St Lucia, were considered as the best three boxers of the entire tournament.
It was a learning experience for the entire team as the tournament was conducted in real “Creole style” as opposed to the strict adherence to the international Rules (AIBA) to which Barbados is accustomed. Despite this, however, the spirit of the Barbados team was never daunted and the boxers all gave of their best.
There were a few minor injuries which caused some setbacks, especially with Isidore, Breedy and Biscette but on the whole the team management was quite satisfied with the overall team performance and deportment, and the consensus among the team was that this should be an annual event on the Barbados Boxing Association’s calendar, with more boxers participating.
The team returned to Barbados yesterday and was met at the airport by the president of the Association, Anthony Jones, who congratulated the boxers on their excellent performances.