Jamaica Taekwondo Federation member, Brandon Sealy, stood proudly on the podium after earning the gold medal in the -73KG Junior Male category against strong competitors from the United States and Chile in the Canada Open held last week in Richmond, British Columbia situated outside of the second most popular Canadian destination, Vancouver.
Sealy won his first match impressively overpowering his opponent with dominant speed and force. The trend into his second match continued to be the extra height of his opponents but he and his long-time coach Master Tony Byon were able to overcome the leg span and get the win. To win gold Sealy held off the United States competitor with a one-point lead until the end of the final round for a very nerve-wrecking and emotional finish. After running around the ring with the Jamaican flag draped around him, Sealy told reporters with poise and wisdom the final seconds were, “just like life. You have to know when and how to make adjustments to win.”
Last month Sealy won gold at the Pan Am Taekwondo Tournament in Spokane, Washington. Brandon is now the first Jamaican Junior Taekwondo athlete to win two consecutive gold medals at a World Taekwondo sanctioned event within two months. When asked about this accomplishment, Sealy adds, “I am humbled by the honor to represent my homeland Jamaica. I don’t take it for granted. Each year I count on the competition being more difficult and stay diligent with practice. This martial arts sport has taught me some tough lessons but, most importantly, it has taught me resilience and to never give up. I will put my best efforts into the sport so I can use Taekwondo as a platform, like my favorite decorated Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt, to inspire other youth to dream big and work hard because nothing is impossible.”