MATT Doyle was sweating so much when about to compete for Australia for the first time, that he was slipping on the floorboards underneath him.
Despite his nerves, the 16-year-old managed to come away from the recent Go Kan Ryu World Cup in Homebush with a gold medal.
He qualified for the tournament after placing third at nationals in Melbourne last year and won all seven of his fights in the 16-17 year lightweight division.
The year 11 student from St John’s said he was ecstatic after his big win.
“Words can’t really explain; it’s just an incredible feeling,” he said.
Doyle said he enjoyed the opportunity to come up against fighters from all around the world and he cannot wait to do it again.
He is hoping to go back to the world cup next year, but has his sights set on going to the top of the sport in the future.
Karate has been considered to be included as an Olympic sport in the future and Doyle has his sights set on either the 2020 or 2024 Games.
Doyle has been involved with karate since he was six, under the watchful eye of his mentor and father Brad, who has more than 40 years’ experience and sensei Jan Lopez.
Originally karate was something he did for fun and to help boost his confidence, but in recent years he began to take it much more seriously.
His typical week includes hours of intense training and as well as karate, he practices tae kwon do, boxing and mixed martial arts.
All the different disciplines complement each other and help with flexibility and technique.
Karate is still his favourite, but he said he might be tempted by mixed martial arts further down the track.
“I have been asked to start cage fighting, but I’m still not sure,” he said.
“It’s pretty brutal and crazy, but I wouldn’t rule it out yet,” he added. In the interim he wants to keep going to as many tournaments as possible and get his name out there.
He is seeking a sponsor to help cover his finances for travelling to tournaments.
He has also set a very clear goal for his future in the sport.
“I want to go to the top,” he said.
“I know I’ve set my goals pretty high, but I’m determined to get there.”