Canberra boxer Nina Schuster ''has incredible ability and tenacity'', according to training partner Bianca Elmir. Photo: Graham Tidy
This is a 15-year-old you don't want to mess with.
Canberra teenager Nina Schuster recorded the highest finish by an Australian female boxer at a major tournament with a silver medal at the AIBA Junior World Championships in Bulgaria last week.
To put her performance into perspective, Grahame Cheney, who won a silver medal in the light-welterweight division at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, is the only other Australian, male or female, to have matched Schuster's achievement.
After having a bye in the first round of the competition, Schuster defeated rivals from Ireland and China before losing in a unanimous decision in the final to a Polish opponent.
''I was really happy to get a silver medal,'' Schuster said.
''I only wanted to get more experience overseas, so when I got silver I was over the moon.
''I was one point off, it was very, very close.
''I'm hoping to get to the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games, but at the moment I'm concentrating on fixing up my skills and working on my fitness levels.''
Schuster's older sister Mamate, 18, didn't lose any admirers in her defeat to the eventual champion in the youth division in her first bout.
Commonwealth Games hopeful Bianca Elmir trains alongside both girls, and believes they have big futures in the sport.
''The thing that sets Nina and her sister apart is their explosiveness and strength,'' Elmir said.
''They have power surpassing any girl I know for their age or older and they both have a tremendous work ethic.
''Nina has incredible ability and tenacity, doesn't accept failure and when she's struggling with a technical aspect of the sport, she'll come out stronger.''
It's the same attitude Elmir has adopted in her return to the ring after serving a one-year ban for doping.
She tested positive to banned diuretics furosemide and amiloride, found in medication taken to overcome swollen ankles, after winning the Australian title last February in the 51kg division.
Elmir came back with a vengeance, taking the silver medal at the Taipei City Cup in Taiwan in August and collecting the Golden Gloves title in Brisbane.
Her biggest challenge is finding opponents as she prepares for next April's Commonwealth Games trials in Perth.
''Girls in Australia are precious about their record,'' Elmir said.
''When I first started in the game I would take anyone on because I wanted to improve myself and I was aiming for the stars, whereas we have to beg to get anyone.
''I am fighting girls beyond my weight division and height just to get in the ring.
''I'll probably be looking to go to Asia in the next month to give myself the best chance of making the Commonwealth Games team.''