Irontiger taekwondo's Kate McAdam a strong Rio prospect

Kicking off to Rio: Kate McAdam said she feels her hard work is finally paying off and she is a step closer to achieving her Olympic dream. Picture: Geoff Jones

Kicking off to Rio: Kate McAdam said she feels her hard work is finally paying off and she is a step closer to achieving her Olympic dream. Picture: Geoff Jones

IF SHE could have joined the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a child she would have.

Instead Kate McAdam is kicking and spinning her way to the Rio 2016 Olympics, first stop the Oceania Championships in Sydney Olympic Park on August 14-17.

"To this day my parents still believe that it was my fond love of the Ninja Turtles that led me to start taekwondo at the age of four," she said.

Coach Dianne Carn the master of Irontiger Taekwondo at Castle Hill, where McAdam trains six days a week, said: "Oceania is ranked a G4 event, which means it's world-ranking points for the Olympics, a G8 event."

McAdam said: "[Getting a medal], or even winning, the Oceania Championships will give me a boost in world-ranking points, giving me the chance to attend the Grand Prix Series, which opens up another potential door for Olympic selection outside the traditional selection process."

McAdam, 23, will compete at Oceania in the heavyweight (73kg-plus) division for which she is ranked No. 1 in Australia and No. 39 in the world.

She will compete in the Australian Open in the same week.

McAdam won gold at the Australian national team selection event for Oceania.

"I felt like I had already won before walking out on to the ring because of how hard I'd worked in the lead-up," McAdam said.

"I was training two to three sessions a day, as well as working a full-time job . . . and I was not going to let anyone take that [victory] away from me."

McAdam will attend a week-long high performance training camp next month at the Australian Institute of Sport with the national team.

Also at the Oceania Championships will be Irontiger athletes Arshiya Zendehdel, 13, and Ava Goharinasab, 11, in the Cadet 33-37kg and Cadet 37-41kg weight categories, respectively.

Zendehdel won gold at the Australian team selections. Goharinasab won silver.

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