Kori Fital’s dream is to become an Olympian. The 14-year-old karate star knows there is a long way to go before she pulls on the Team GB colours but she is heading in the right direction.

The Edinburgh player takes a significant step in her career this week when she competes in the World Junior Karate Championships in Santiago, Chile and having won the Karate 1 Youth League last month, she is in good form. And despite being one of the youngest competitors in her under-16 age group, she admits she cannot wait to make her assault on the biggest competition of her career to date.

“I’m really excited about it but I’m really nervous at the same time,” the -54kgs fighter said.

“This is the highest level of competition I can do at my age and I still can’t believe that I’m actually going. 

“I think I’m the youngest one in the Scotland squad so that’s a wee bit daunting but it’s also exciting.”

Fital trains at the CEK club in Edinburgh, and the strength of the club has been highlighted with the selection of two of Fital’s clubmates, Carly McNab & Neve Ewing.

Fital became interested in karate through her older brother and with a punchbag in her house, she admits she spent much of her childhood practicing her skills in her bedroom.

With most of her female school friends spending their time doing what are traditionally considered ‘girls’ sports like dancing, Fital admits she has always liked the idea of proving to people that despite the kicking and punching, karate is not purely a sport for boys.

“I started when I was five and I loved it straight away. I always knew what I was doing was a bit different from my friends - they were doing dancing and things like that whereas I was doing karate,” she said.

“A lot of people think it’s a boy’s sport although I think that’s changing a bit now. I like proving people wrong that it’s not a sport only for boys.”

Fital admits combining her sport with her schoolwork is not always easy – recently she was home from Mexico for only six hours before she jetted off to Budapest – but her commitment will, she believes, pay off.

Karate will make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Olympics next summer and Fital has her sights set on making the GB team in years to come.

“It’s amazing that karate is in the Olympics now. That just makes me more determined to train hard and hopefully get selected,” she said.

“That’s what I want to do – become an Olympian. When I was younger, I’d always watch the Olympics on the television but because karate wasn’t in the Olympics back then, I’d watch the judo and taekwondo. But I always found them confusing and boring compared to karate.

“So having watched the Olympics from such a young age, to get there myself would be amazing.”