Karate kid Lexie aims for the Olympics after UEA competition success

Lexie McLellan stands behind her haul of Karate trophies from her 2017 season. PICTURE: Andy McLella

Lexie McLellan stands behind her haul of Karate trophies from her 2017 season. PICTURE: Andy McLellan - Credit: Archant

Karate kid Lexie McLellan is aiming for Olympic success in Tokyo after she successfully qualified for the European Martial Arts Games in Schaan, Liechtenstein.

The 16 year old who is studying at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, is one of the regions most accomplished young karate experts and has high ambitions in the sport.

On Sunday, February 25, Lexie qualified for the World Martial Arts Games Committee European Martial Arts Games by coming first in the Traditional Open Hand Kata category and second in the Traditional Weapons Kata category with her Katana.

She will aim to do the same at competitions in September and November to qualify for the WMAGC 2019 World Championships in Delhi, India.

Lexie successfully earned her first black belt at the age of 10 before gaining her second only two years later at the age of 12.

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She hopes to move on to her third dan by the end of 2018, but is currently hampered by the fact that you must be 21 to take the necessary exams despite the fact her coach at Nirvana Fitness, Chris Broadley, believes her to be ready.

She said: 'My ambition is to get to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020'

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'I started ten years ago after my friend told me to start, she only lasted two or three weeks whereas I'm still going'

Lexie's 2017 was an especially successful one, competing in seven Open competitions, winning 17 trophies, including 11 victories, six second place positions, alongside two runner-up medals.

This saw her win the Norfolk Open Grand Champion in Under 16 Traditional Weapons Kata and Traditional Open Hand Kata.

She added:'In 2015 I qualified to represent the British team at the World Championships in 2015 but I couldn't attend because I had torn my ligament in my knee.

'Karate wasn't funded then, but with it being at the Olympics it might get some.'

When asked about what kept her fighting and training in a sport renowned for its discipline, Lexie said: 'It got up my self confidence and it made me more confident.

'My instructor kept putting me out the front to demonstrate and if I didn't do karate I wouldn't be able to do that now and it gave me the ability to stand up in front of people.

'I do it for fun and for the discipline.'

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