12-Year-Old Northville Student Wins National Taekwondo Tournament
Omar Lahbiki, a student at Hillside Middle School, took home a gold medal.
It was a tough fight for 12-year-old Northville student Omar Lahbiki in Philadelphia two weeks ago, but he came home with a gold medal and a silver medal from the United States Taekwondo League Championships.
Omar won first place in sparring, or fighting, and second place in forms in the 12-year-olds advanced competitors division. Approximately 15 states participated in the tournament, which was held June 29 and 30.
“I was hoping to get gold in both, but the other kid had really good form,” said Omar, who will be entering seventh grade at Hillside Middle School in the fall.
The Novi resident got a bye in the first round of sparring, then had to defeat two competitors. The first match he won 8-2.
“The other kid in the finals, he gave up after I kicked him in the head and I won 10-2 in the finals, and it was a tough fight,” he said.
Omar’s father, Hassan, said he was able to go to the tournament after winning a regional tournament nine months ago.
“It’s a huge tournament, and he did well. The competition was fierce,” Hassan said.
Omar currently has a red belt with a black strip, and he hopes to get his black belt next year.
He has been training twice a week for the past six years under master Doug Bourgois of Renaissance Karate at Northville Parks & Recreation.