Samir Furqan will be the first Bermudian to compete as a Junior in World San Da competition when he competes at the 4th World Junior Wushu Championships in Macau, China from September 17th – 25th.
Furqan, an 18- year old Cedarbridge Academy student has been fighting in full contact for approximately three years and in that time span he has had five fights, most of the time against much older, bigger and stronger opponents.
This time around Furqan will be up against the best 56kg (123 lb) Junior Fighters in the World between the ages of 15 and 18. This is the first time that Furqan or any Bermudian has competed in a Junior World Championship.
He competed in the Pan American Junior Wushu Championships in Buenos Aires in 2010 where he secured a bronze medal. Early this year Furqan secured a first round TKO against Canada’s Shayne Dejardais. He suffered a loss at the International Chinese Martial Arts Championships in Orlando in July however the bout against the much bigger and more experienced opponent has no doubt prepared him for this next challenge.
The full Bermuda contingent consisting of Bermuda Sanshou Association President Garon Wilkinson - Head Coach, top fighter Sentwali Woolridge - Assistant Coach, female fighter Talia Iris - Team Manager and Furqan will first head to Xian, Shaanxi province in China where they will undergo a week’s worth of training with the Chinese National San Da coach, Master Genxue Zhang.
The Bermuda Team was offered the opportunity to train with the knowledgeable coach after he witnessed the Bermuda team’s solid performance at the last senior world championships in Ankara, Turkey last year.
Jermal Woolridge, who secured Bermuda’s first ever Medal at a World Championships, lost to Master Zhang’s top +90k g (+198 kg ) fighter in the semi-finals. Master Zhang was so impressed with the skills of Woolridge and the Bermuda team that he extended an invitation for the team to train with him in China.
Head coach Wilkinson said, “Since we were planning to take Furqan over to compete in Macau, we thought this would be the right opportunity for some of our top fighters to train in China. We are all very much looking forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity and we know that it will greatly enhance our entire program.”
The four fighters have been training to get in tip top shape so that they make the most of the opportunity. “We all have been training as if we were going into a match as we want to be in tip top shape for the training. This will ensure that we avoid any unnecessary injuries and take full advantage of the intense training camp,” continued Wilkinson.
Wilkinson concluded, “The Bermuda team will then head over to Macau where the focus will turn to Furqan as he completes the registration, team training, weigh-in, drawing lots and opening ceremony before the opening bouts commence on September 19th.”