Amid civil unrest, protests and curfews in Santiago, Barrhead’s Niamh Junner clinched a stunning bronze medal at the WKF Under-21 Karate World Championships in Chile.

With a total of 96 nations participating in a stacked competition, Junner travelled to the South American country that is currently in turmoil with the 24-strong Team Scotland squad.

Led by four national team coaches, the youngsters were able to focus on the competition, despite the current unrest in the capital city.

Competing in the Under-18 category at 59kg+ in a tough field with 47 countries represented, Junner was afforded a bye in round one before going on to sail through her second round clash against Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Elvedina Halilovic with a 4-0 win.

Into round three, the Barrhead star came up against Fatos Hansu, of Turkey, in a much tighter affair and progressed with a narrow 2-1 victory.

Drawn to face Montenegro’s Melina Javanovic, who is ranked number three in the world, Junner’s fourth round bout ended 0-0, despite plenty of action and scoring attempts.

Barrhead News: Niamh, right, came through four rounds and a Repechage to clinch WKF bronze in Santiago, Chile Niamh, right, came through four rounds and a Repechage to clinch WKF bronze in Santiago, Chile

The judges voted to put Junner through to round five due to her aggression and the way she controlled large parts of the contest.

Junner, 17, came up short against world number six Marina Vukovic, of Austria, in round five as she fell into the bronze medal Repechage, despite Vukovic receiving three warnings.

Up against Slovakia’s Sara Krivdova with a medal at stake, Junner’s aggression was again rewarded as all five judges scored in her favour after a tense 0-0 draw.

As well as the bronze medal, Junner earned 1,020 ranking points that will propel her to number five in the world rankings.

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