Sport

Boy devotes victories to sick brother

Hervey Bay's Lachlan Amodeo, right, dedicated his success at the 2014 ITF Taekwondo World Championships to his younger brother Christian.
Hervey Bay's Lachlan Amodeo, right, dedicated his success at the 2014 ITF Taekwondo World Championships to his younger brother Christian. Contributed

NOT much throws Lachlan Amodeo off his game.

The relaxed 13-year-old rarely looked challenged when dealing with bigger, stronger and faster opponents at the 2014 ITF Taekwondo World Championships.

Despite the Hervey Bay youngster embarking on the biggest test of his life, Lachlan said it was nothing compared to the battle his younger brother faced back in Australia.

Christian was rushed to hospital within days of Lachlan arriving in Rome.

Christian suffered a life-threatening seizure and was fighting for his life in the ICU.

Thoughts of him sat firmly at the forefront of Lachlan's mind as he went on to become a dual world champion.

He won gold in sparring and special techniques as well as silver in patterns.

He had only one priority after becoming the most successful Australian team member: dedicate his success to his brother, who returned home earlier this week after more than two weeks in hospital and is recovering well.

"This was for him," Lachlan said.

"To see his face and see him happy when I got back was glorious."

Lachlan vowed to return straight home after hearing the shock news of his brother, but his parents Sebastian and Tracey urged him to keep faith and stick with his training and dream to compete in his chosen sport on the world stage.

Lachlan's concerns were evident during his preparation, but his strength of character won out in the end as he used Christian as his motivation. "I felt on target and more focussed after I heard Christian was doing better," Lachlan, the highest medal winner out of all competitors, said.

"The tournament was challenging as it was supposed to be, but it was a good experience and went to how I planned."

The St Mary's College student, who was chosen by the Australian coach to carry the country sign at the opening ceremony, will restart training in late September and is aiming for his third Dan black belt next year.

Although he is determined to return to the world championships in 2016 to defend his titles, Lachlan's father said he had already set his sights on something much higher.

"He's achieved everything someone his age could possibly achieve and the next step is to qualify for the Olympics," Sebastian said.

"We see so many people on TV compete at the Commonwealth Games and you think 'all the training that goes into it' and now we understand exactly what is involved in to getting these gold medals.

"It's not an easy task and it's a big commitment from the athlete and realistically the parents to some degree to support them.

"But really it's up to the athlete to want it and never once has Lachlan ever complained over the training sessions. He's very dedicated and knows what he wants."



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