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Katanning’s Will Collis and Axel Aldridge secure medals at taekwondo State champs, earn national selection

Harry GrigsonGreat Southern Herald
Will Collis, 14, and Axel Aldridge, 15, with their respective medals.
Camera IconWill Collis, 14, and Axel Aldridge, 15, with their respective medals. Credit: Harry Grigson/Great Southern Herald

Two of Katanning’s brightest taekwondo talents claimed medals at the recent State championship in Perth last month, the pair earning a nod for the nationals.

Fighting out of Katanning’s Sang Won Ui, Will Collis, 14, secured bronze in Poomsae, a demonstration of technique, while Axel Aldridge, 15, claimed silver in sparring at the State championships on September 2 as both qualified for the national finals.

Collis, who has competed in Poomsae previously, said he was pleased with the progress he was making.

“It’s not my first time but it doesn’t really matter how many times I’ve done it still feels good,” Collis said.

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Will Collis with his bronze medal at the national championships.
Camera IconWill Collis with his bronze medal at the national championships. Credit: Supplied

“It’s really cool to come third and I’m happy with the result.”

The 14-year-old outlasted 10 opponents across two divisions to win the bronze medal.

“The two divisions were world taekwondo and championship and I had to do two different demonstrations for each,” he said.

“Of the four routines I did one of them was Koryo which is a black-belt routine.”

Will Collis, 14, and Axel Aldridge, 15.
Camera IconWill Collis, 14, and Axel Aldridge, 15. Credit: Harry Grigson/Great Southern Herald

His third place qualified him for the national competition that was held on October 13 where he went on to finish fourth.

Aldridge, a blue two, fought in the ages 15 to 17 division and relished the opportunity of sparring in competition for the first time.

“I felt good after it but there is definitely room for improvement,” Aldridge said.

“I was a bit nervous but it was a really good experience overall.

Aldridge performs a high kick.
Camera IconAldridge performs a high kick. Credit: Harry Grigson/Great Southern Herald

The 15-year-old went up against a bigger and older opponent in the three-round bout but opted out of the nationals to focus on honing his skills.

“We were the only two in the division and he was a lot taller than I was, but next year I go again and hopefully go one better,” he said.

“I want to win next year and go to nationals.

“If I come second again I’ll skip nationals again because I want to make sure I am ready for it.”

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