Lucas Vallejo is modest about his martial arts achievements.
The Year 6 student at St Bernard’s Catholic Primary Botany placed first in the under 12’s division at the 2016 Shotokan Karate-Do International Federation (SKIF) World Championships in Indonesia.
He was responsible for two of five gold medals won by the Australian team at the event, held in Jakarta from August 26 to 28.
“I was very surprised,” he said. “I didn’t think that I could win it because I knew how hard it was. I had watched the previous world championships in Sydney and they [the competitors] were all good.”
Lucas was six years old when he began karate at school. His path to international competition began when St Bernard’s introduced karate as a school sport.
Lucas has since won seven national titles in the past five years. He attended four training sessions a week at two different dojos in the lead up to the world championships.
“We had to do a lot of training,” he said. “My sensei was a referee and we [Australia] were one of the biggest groups in the competition.
“All of my friends were encouraging me to go to the nationals and then worlds.”