IT HAS taken a Crestmead teenager less than four years to build a reputation as a feared national and world kickboxing champion.
Connor Gillen, 15, was named the 2019 Junior Athlete of the Year at the City of Logan Sports Awards and shared the spotlight with local athletes Ashley Moloney (Sportsman of the Year) and Nathan Harvey (Sportsperson of the Year).
Weighing in at 45 kilograms, Gillen won gold at his first under 15 Muay Thai world championship title at Bangkok in March this year. and dominated against elite competitors, including a Russian kickboxer in the grand final.
He was dominant against elite competitors, including a Russian who he defeated in the grand final.
Gillen trains at Muay Thai Mulisha in Munruben with his coach Chris Johnstone.
Mr Johnstone said Gillen was an excellent kick boxer with unparalleled determination.
"We have perfected his weapons so he is a 100 per cent all rounder," he said.
"His punches, kicks, knees and elbows are the best they can be.
"The thing that gets him across the line is his determination to win. He is a hardworking kid who lives and breathes training. That is his best asset.
"He is very quiet, polite and humble but trains harder than everyone else."
Muaythai kickboxing will be recognised as an Olympic sport in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics, which Gillen intends to contest.
Coach Johnstone said Gillen had the potential to shine on the world stage and earn millions of dollars in his adult kick boxing career.
"He could set himself up for life but i'm still recommending that he does well at school and get a trade," he said.
Gillen has also won multiple national championships across Australia.
On winning the Junior Athlete of the Year award, coach Johnstone said the accolade was well deserved.
"Connor was over the moon, him and his parents were so proud," he said.
"I'm not taking anything away from other athletes but with the way he trains it was very well deserved."