Jason Sam of the Marshall Islands won the gold medal at the 2013 Pacific Mini Games. By knowing that he would face competitors who were all trained differently seemed to diffuse Jason’s nerves before the competition.
After getting through the first round Jason felt more confident, relaxed and strong. His final match put him against a stronger fighter from New Guinea who had just defeated Tahiti in the semi-final rounds. He knew he would have to change his game and move faster. He managed a head kick in the first three seconds of the round that was so quick the judges missed it. After a public outcry and review they awarded him his three points.
The cheering fans supported his confidence, and the intensity of winning the gold had a serious impact on him when he received a penalty. It was his stamina and physical training that kept Jason going against this competitor who barely flinched with each hit and kept coming back for more. In the end Jason won with his second hit to New Guinea’s head.
At the PMG award ceremony, the judges named Jason Sam the Outstanding Male Taekwondo Athlete of the tournament.
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