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MacArthur karateka earns spot on Team USA

Elijah Priego

(MACARTHUR INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL -- Aug. 7, 2019) — Incoming MacArthur seventh-grader Elijah Priego is not your average 12-year-old boy.

Sure, he’s one of the Ponies that starting next Monday will return to classes and work hard to reach his academic goals. But he also is a world-class athlete who has been selected to represent the United States in an international karate competition.

After outstanding performances at the local and regional level, the karateka has been selected to compete at the 2019 World Karate & Kickboxing Commission (WKC) World Championship this November in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

“I aspire to become a prominent member of the 2024 U.S. Olympic team so this is the first step to accomplishing that goal,” said Elijah, who has collected donations from community members to make the trip to New York. “Everyone’s donation will help me fulfill this amazing opportunity and assist me in representing not only our city and school district but the country as well.”

The WKC World Championships could help him get much-needed attention. The competition gathers martial artists from throughout the world to compete in disciplines like speed fighting (point and continuous sparring), kata (forms), and weapons.

To learn more about Elijah’s journey to the WKC World Championship, click here.

Story by Hector Gonzalez