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Talented teen takes silver medal at Scottish event
- Updated: April 1, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Teenager Tonet Tallie has grappled her way to more international recognition for South African judo by winning a silver medal at the Sportif International event in Scotland.
This was only the 14-year-old’s second international competition, after having being involved in the sport for more than two-thirds of her life already.
After her medal-winning exploits, the La Rochelle Girls High (Paarl) pupil attended a high intensity three-day training camp which is part of her preparation for this month’s Commonwealth Judo Championships in Port Elizabeth.
Speaking of her Scottish experience, Tallie told Road to Rio 2016: ‘My opponents’ style of fighting were different from mine, because they have more opportunities to compete than I do.
‘My strength is good because I have a strength programme I follow, so I didn’t feel they were stronger than me.
‘In my one fight I threw the girl from Ireland for a Ippon.
‘I lost in the final, due to my lack of international experience – the girl I fought, Tatum Keen, is current British champion, but I know that with more experience I’ll be a force to be reckoned with.’
It would seem the training camp was just as tiring as her actual fights. ‘It was hard… we had two sessions a day, but on the last day my mom made me do three sessions! I was so tired I fell asleep on the bleachers after my second session and before my third. But I learnt a lot at the training camp and am looking forward to using what I learnt on the mat.’
Tallie certainly has the sport in her genes. Mom Tania D’Aguiar is an Olympian with a proud history having been the first female to represent South Africa on the judo mat at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
And the Olympic connection gets still stronger, with Henriette Moller, Tallie’s head coach at Gachi Judo Club in Durbanville, also having competed for South Africa at the Athens Olympics.
Tonet is current SA champion in both the Pre Cadet (12-13) and Cadet (14-17) category.
Both she and her mom will be competing at the Commonwealth Judo Championships with Tania also having been selected as one of the coaches for the
Pre Cadet and Cadet division for the South African Team.
A multi-talented sportswoman, Tonet has also got provincial colours for athletics and plays in her school’s U14 A netball side ‘but my first love is judo, it’s who I am and runs in my blood.
And although she dreams of following in her mom’s footsteps and being part of Team South Africa at the Olympics, her more immediate priority are next year’s Commonwealth
Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas, where judo will form part of the programme for the first time.