Teen sets sights on an Olympics berth
Karratha student Tahlia Briggs, 17, has returned from Jakarta with some extra bling to add to her trophy cabinet, after her bronze medal-effort at the G1 Taekwondo Indonesian Open.
The event was the Australian junior champion’s second major senior tournament, after her quarterfinal effort in June at the Australian Open, where she was defeated by the No.1 seed from China, 14-2.
Her podium finish at the Indonesian Open will see her edge towards a top 100 world ranking.
Tahlia said she was working hard towards her dream of competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which would require a top 32 world ranking.
“I’m chasing girls who have 10 years of experience under their belts and are fully funded national team competitors,” she said.
“It’s hard for fringe athletes to crack into the rankings, but I got a lot of great feedback from international coaches in Indonesia.
“They were all shocked when I said I am only 17 years old and train in my backyard in Karratha.
“I believe it’s not about talent — 90 per cent of what I achieve is from hard work and at the end of the day when you’re not training someone is working twice as hard to take your place.”
Tahlia said she was now on a break for a few weeks to focus on her studies at St Luke’s College before starting training for the AIS Oceania Club Championships and Thailand Open in November.
“It’s always a bit of a juggling act between school and taekwondo; I spend two hours a day training and study when I am on the road competing at competitions,” she said.
“I am top of the class in four of my subjects. I am so lucky to have really accommodating teachers at school who have helped me along the way.
“From here, I will put all my hard work into training for the Oceania selections, where I will be fighting for a wildcard entry to the Olympics in Rio next year.”