Medal gives ath­lete Rio chance

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

■ Kar­ratha now has a top-100 worl­drank­ing mar­tial arts ath­lete in its midst, and she is yet to turn 18.

Tahlia Briggs has bro­ken into the top 100 of her divi­sion in the taek­wondo world rank­ings af­ter a bronze medal win at the Ocea­nia Taek­wondo Club Cham­pi­onships late last month.

She is now ranked about 91st in the world in her fe­male heavy­weight 73kg-plus cat­e­gory and her chances of gain­ing a place in the Aus­tralian Olympic team for Rio De Janeiro stand at 50-50.

It has been an ex­traor­di­nar­ily fast rise up the rank­ings for the 17-yearold St Luke’s Col­lege Year 11 stu­dent, who only en­tered the se­nior com­pe­ti­tion a year ago and has un­til now trained in her back­yard with fa­ther Kim act­ing as her man­ager at the re­cent com­pe­ti­tion.

The Ocea­nia cham­pi­onships were a re­gional play-off for quali­fy­ing points for taek­wondo ath­letes in Aus­tralia, New Zealand and the Pa­cific is­lands.

Tahlia was the youngest ath­lete in her divi­sion and still man­aged to place third.

The achieve­ment fol­lows her bronze medal ef­fort at last month’s G1 Taek­wondo In­done­sian Open.

Tahlia said she was pleased with the re­sult and the progress she had made.

“It’s a step up from last time,” she said of the Ocea­nia cham­pi­onships event. “It zoomed in on the things I was prep­ping wrong.

“More than any­thing it was prob­a­bly a look to see how much time I needed be­fore se­lec­tions be­cause those are the girls I’ll (com­pete with) for se­lec­tion for the Aus­tralian team.”

Tahlia will soon travel to Perth to train for the up­com­ing qual­i­fiers for the Aus­tralian team, to be held from De­cem­ber to Fe­bru­ary.

Her Rio chances de­pend on how she goes against an ex­pe­ri­enced ri­val, but she notes that even mak­ing the Aus­tralian B team would give her in­valu­able train­ing to hone her skills.

Pic­ture: Kim Briggs.

Ocea­nia Taek­wondo Club Cham­pi­onships medal­lists Re­becca Wash­ing­ton, Tassya Stevens, Tahlia Briggs and Kate McA­dam.

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