KARATE'S push to be included as a sport in the 2020 Olympics has a local ambassador with West Pennant Hills fighter Uday Barooah calling for more international recognition.
The 15-year-old won his first Shotokan Karate World Championship medal last month with silver in the under 14-15s kumite freestyle sparring category.
He was surprised however to learn the World Championships is the highest level fighters in his martial arts category can compete in.
"Taekwondo is an Olympic sport so why can't karate be recognised at the Olympics as well," Uday said.
"I've competed in karate for seven years and love the sport.
"It requires great discipline, speed and skill."
Uday displayed all these attributes at his first World Championships in Sydney when he outclassed 45 other international competitors to grab the silver medal. In five knockout fights Uday finished the top of his pool and progressed to the final where he lost 2-1 to Brazilian fighter Giolo Arthur.
"I was very happy with my performance and the way I fought but naturally disappointed to miss out gold," Uday said.
Uday took an early lead in the final and was one point away from the gold medal when he caught his opponent with a surprise punch to the face.
Arthur recovered to level the fight at 1-1 and landed the decisive punch with a split referee decision.
"We hit each other at the same time but he was about a micro-second in front of me and won the fight," Uday said.
Uday said his first international competition has left him hungry for more representative honours and he's targeted a spot on the Australian senior national team.