By Esther Lauaki
Alex Diaz Dehaney is fighting his way back to the top.
The Hoppers Crossing fighter won a bronze medal at the Australian Karate Federation’s Australian Open held recently in Liverpool, New South Wales – his first tournament after 10 weeks off following appendix surgery.
Diaz Dehaney, who competed in the kumite individual male senior +84 class, said the competition brought him a step closer to attaining his goals.
“I had surgery and was out for 10 weeks, which left me with two weeks training as much as I could before the tournament,” he said.
“I was doing yoga to strengthen myself but couldn’t do anything else.”
He has his sights set on winning a world title in Canada in June.
“It always feels good to get a podium placing,” Diaz Dehaney said.
“I can push myself to get better … with my eyes on Canada to put myself on the map. I’m hoping to perform well for Australia.”
The Cuban-born fighter has Olympic dreams, too.
“I was in the national team in Cuba,” he said. “I’ve been doing karate since I was six years old and officially competing since I was 10.
“I have a few more tournaments later this year and, depending on how I go with them, I want to be able to qualify for the Olympics – that’s the ultimate goal.”