At 15-years-old Echuca martial artist Mitchell Wickham has already taken on the world stage.
In June he competed at the 2017 International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Championships in Los Angeles, collecting two bronze medals.
It included a third placing in the open weight juvenile division where he was fighting competitors twice his size at a world class level.
He made the semi-finals of both the open and light-feather weight division – his bronze in the light-feather moving him into the open division.
He was forced to tap out in the open division after being put in an arm lock. His fight ended in referee stoppage with a minute to go when Wickham also got caught in an arm lock and couldn’t break free after leading in points for most of the round.
Overall there were 60 competitors from Australia and only 10 came away with medals or placings.
From the experience Wickham has learned a lot to implement in his future training and as well as witness some of the world’s best fighters. He also got to train with Lucas Leite at his martial arts club while in the States.
Sam Davie’s third attempt at the Finke Desert Race turned out to be his most successful in June.
After finishing ninth outright in 2015 and not completing the race in 2016 his luck finally turned around to come fifth outright in the motorbike class for 2017.
The 22-year-old had said at the end of last year he wouldn’t be back to race Finke, but 12 months on and he was again tackling the world’s most gruelling desert motor endurance event.
Despite qualifying in 15th on the Saturday he managed to make up ground on both days to finish in the top five.
He passed nine other competitors on day one to reach the turn-around point in sixth, even though the dust conditions had been the worst he had encountered with not a lick of wind.
Davie has only been racing competitively for three years but has been on the back of a bike since he was three-years-old.
Davie begins training for the next race three months after completing the one prior, spending 5-6 mornings a week at FITmob Echuca with Shannon Fink and another 2-3 days on the track.
He was sponsored by race team Simford 1800 Weldit Husqvarna throughout the event.