SAMANTHA WEBER punches above her weight.
At 66.5 kilograms, the Canberra martial artist (pictured above, left) can fight in two weight divisions - the 62-67kg or the 67-73kg categories, with competitors allowed to be ½kg lighter than their weight class. Weber, 23, finished second at the nationals, narrowly missing out on December's Oceania championships on the Gold Coast. But she is still a chance of going to the world championships in Mexico in 2013.
She will face Eve Ember at the qualifiers in Melbourne in February. Ember also fights in two weight divisions, but has a distinct weight advantage, fighting in the 67-73 and heavyweight divisions. Weber said being smaller was both an advantage and a disadvantage. As one of the few women with Lee's Taekwondo, she regularly fights against heavier men, such as Orlando Powrie (pictured, right), who also wants to qualify for the worlds.
''Ember can push me around a bit, but that doesn't stop me from getting back at her,'' Weber said.
Being heavier could be an advantage, she said, but ''it can slow you down as well''. ''There are pros and cons to it,'' she said. ''The boys that we train with are all heavier than me so I get to practise with them a lot.''
Fellow club member Kate Hogden (pictured, centre) will also compete at the Oceania champs and world qualifiers.