Torrisi becomes world number 3
IT'S almost 10 years to the day Stanthorpe's Tony Torrisi returned from Japan with silver medal in hand as a member of the Australian Schoolboys football team.
Now 2012, Torrisi is back in the country with the world number three Brazilian Jiujitsu ranking under his belt and a bronze medal in hand.
Torrisi travelled to Abu Dhabi last month to represent Australia in the 76kg division of the World Professional Brazilian Jiujitsu Championships.
Winning three fights by submission and two by points, Torrisi stormed into the semi-finals where he was beaten by two points to the eventual champion from Brazil.
Mother Lynette Torrisi said her son had achieved his goal of returning to Australia with a medal and would now begin preparation for his next adventure to Los Angeles in four weeks.
"He has been asked to compete in another highly ranked world-known competition called the World IBJJF Jiujitsu Championships," Lynette said.
"Tony has only been fighting for 18 months.
"His plans now are to continue to compete internationally."
Torrisi had initially planned to become a professional football player and was well on his way after a successful trip to Japan aged 12.
"At the age of 12, he left Stanthorpe to further his education at a school of excellence for his soccer at Cavendish Road High in Brisbane," Lynette said.
"Unfortunately, in Year 11 and much to his disappointment, he was diagnosed with a knee condition which ended his soccer career."
But injury was never going to keep Torrisi down.
Committed to the cause he remained focus and that, according to Lynette, is the reason for his recent success.
"As you can imagine, it was very difficult to allow him to leave home at the age of 12, but we did want to give him the opportunity to further his career," Lynette said.
"I think it is his goal setting, determination and strict training schedule, and sacrificing the normal activities a 21-year-old would do.
"He has always been a child setting goals and working very hard to achieve them."