ONE of Australia’s most-awarded taekwondo champions has another accomplishment to add to an already glowing resume.
Canning Vale resident Carmela Hartnett has become the first Australian female to win a medal at the USA International Open Martial Arts Championships after claiming two gold medals in the traditional martial arts and freestyle categories.
The medals were the latest addition to an already swelling trophy cabinet for Hartnett, who was the first Australian to win a medal at a European International Open Championship in sparring and a gold medal in international forms competition.
She was also the first female coach of an Australian national martial arts team and is still the only Australian to win 90 international medals.
Her victory was even more remarkable given it was her first international all styles martial arts competition, a feat Hartnett said was not lost on her.
“I thought I would do ok, not because I’d done it in Australia before, but I didn’t know the international standard and didn’t know what to expect,” she said.
“But having a good coach who is very technical meant I was up there in the finals. I was hoping for a medal, but wasn’t sure how it was going to go.”
When she is not competing, Hartnett spends her time teaching taekwondo throughout Maddington, Canning Vale, Riverton and Leeming.
She said she derives a lot of satisfaction from passing down her knowledge helping others achieve their goals.
“I found I enjoyed doing helping the lower belts with their technical abilities and correcting them and seeing them improve,” Hartnett said.
“When you teach others, it makes you look at yourself because it makes you do it correctly, you don’t want to be doing something wrong.”