IN her first international competition, Cooma's Sarah Nicholson finished just outside medal contention at the Commonwealth Karate Games in Canada.
The 17-year-old schoolgirl placed fourth in the junior female under 53kg weight division. She was painstakingly close to clinching the bronze medal.
After losing her first fight to the eventual gold medallist, Nicholson was given a second chance in the repechage round.
In the bronze medal fight, she faced the South African national champion, who got off to a great start scoring the first three points.
Looking like it was going to be a tough bout at 3-0 down, Nicholson switched on and performed a back leg mawashi geri (roundhouse kick) to get herself back in the fight.
Twenty seconds later she performed another mawashi to go into the lead 4-3 with just 26 left in the fight.
As the clock ticked toward 13 seconds Nicholson ended up in a messy clinch with the South African opponent, and as both started to go down, her opponent managed to stay on her feet to earn three points.
Nicholson tried valiantly to get one last kick in, in the final moments of the fight, 6-4 down, but to no avail.
Following her stand out performance Nicholson has been nominated to try out for the Australian team again next year.
Her next major competition is the Australian Open in February next year.
She has also nominated for the US Open in Las Vegas next May which is dependent on her selection in the Australian under 21s.