Woolridge one win away from world title
Jermal Woolridge will carry the Bermuda flag in the championship fight at the 12th Wushu World Championships currently taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After his second-round knockout of Egypt's Ahmed Abdelmoaz, which came from a head kick, the Bermudian now faces an opponent from Russia in the gold medal showdown.
“Jermal is one win away from becoming world champion,” said president of Bermuda Sanshou Association (BSA) Garon Wilkinson.
“Bermuda is doing it big. We just got to take out Russia to be on top of the podium. Jiayou!”
Woolridge had lost the first round after suffering a number of takedowns, and knowing he needed to go all out in the second round he decided to leave it “all on the mat”, according to Wilkinson.
The second round started much like the first with the Bermudian being taken down. However, the fight took a turn when Woolridge caught Abdelmiaz with a right round house kick to the head that stunned Egyptian.
Woolridge was able to capitalise and forced Abdelmiaz off the platform. Once Abdelmiaz returned to the mat, Woolridge threw another headkick which proved to be the finishing blow as Abdelmiaz went down and was counted out.
Things didn't go as well for Sentwali Woolridge and Bermuda's Khalid Pitcher's in their quarter-final match-ups.
Woolridge fought a tough match against Shen Li from China, going down two rounds to nil, while Pitcher suffered a loss against the silver medallist at the last world championships and current World Cup champion, Abdelhamid Elsayad from Egypt.
In their previous fights, Woolridge defeated Mamataliev Nurlanbek of Kyrgyzstan two rounds to nil and Pitcher beat Koaba Mabongo Ruben Cruz of Gabon, who didn't emerge from his corner for the third round, forcing his coach to hold up the ‘retirement' pedal.
Bermuda's youngest competitor, Jeron Gunness, lost to the host country's Tan Jia Guan when he was stopped in the second round.
Wilkinson also competed in Changquan on day one and Gunshu on day two, receiving scores of 7.07 and 7.23 respectively to place 60th and 53rd respectively.
“To have two fighters make the quarter-finals is incredible,” added Wilkinson.
“Just thinking back to our first Worlds back in 2007 when a victory was just out of the question, we've come so far in such a short period of time.
“Now it's up to Jermal Woolridge to bring home the gold.”