Talia Iris, Garon Wilkinson, Jermal Woolridge and Sentwali Woolridge will be representing Bermuda at the 11th World Wushu Championships being held in Ankara, Turkey from October 6th-15th.
Iris and both Woolridge fighters will be competing in San Shou and Wilkinson will be representing Bermuda for the first time in a world championship in Taolu (forms).
All four athletes have had an impressive year of performances with Iris landing a convincing win over Verity Yata in Rumble on the Rock 2 held on August 27th at the Tennis Stadium.
Sentwali Woolridge was the headliner fight for that night and lost a narrow split decision to Theo Tor in very technical 3-round match. Back in July, he also made his day view in Muay Thai at Friday Night Fights NYC where he fought with no protection for the first time.
Jermal Woolridge is fresh from 3 weeks of training at Extreme Couture Gym in Ontario where he trained with some of the top MMA coaches in Canada. In April, he headlined Fight Night XIII where he finished his opponent Canadian opponent Jeremy Hawkrigg in the 3rd round.
Wilkinson is coming off Grand Championship wins in forms and weapons at the Leperq Memorial held in June and a Grand Championship in weapons at the Bermuda Open held in April.
This is the 3rd World Wushu Championshipn that Bermuda has competed in. This event is held every 2 years and the Bermuda team debuted in 2007 in Beijing and then competed in 2009 in Toronto. This is a smaller team than 2 years ago in Toronto however this is one of the strongest teams that Bermuda has had. All of the athletes have well over 10 years of martial arts experience and 5 years of fighting in full contact. They have all established themselves as top contenders and are hoping that their experience will now start to pay dividends.
Iris will be competing in the 56kg Female San Shou, Sentwali Woolridge be competing in 70kg, Jermal Woolridge will be competing in the +90kg and Wilkinson will be competing in Chang quan (long fist).
The team will be accompanied by manager, Dueane Dill. Wilkinson will also be taking on the role as head coach and will be cornering the fighters along with Dill. Sentwali Woolridge is team captain and will be the flag bearer at the prestigious opening ceremonies.
This event is sanctioned by the International Wushu Federation which has over 120 member countries. Ninety plus countries are expected to compete at this event. San shou is typically dominated by Russia, China, Iran, and Egypt while taolu is typically dominated by Asian nations such as China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. The San Shou adopts the knock-out system with the hope of fighters advancing to the finals. In order to win a medal, fighters will typically have to win 5 fights over 5 days.