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Dreaming of medal glory

Lewis Bibby, of Crescent Avenue in Cleveleys, who has achieved a black belt in taekwondo at the age of 8.

Lewis Bibby, of Crescent Avenue in Cleveleys, who has achieved a black belt in taekwondo at the age of 8.

  • by David Sharman
 

HE may only be eight-years-old, but Lewis Bibby has his sights set on an Olympic future after achieving the highest grade in his sport.

Lewis, of Crescent Avenue, Cleveleys, is now one of the youngest in the country to be awarded his black belt in taekwondo.

The youngster says he now feels “fantastic” after he was presented with the honour.

He said: “I got it because I really wanted it.

“I do it two or three nights a week and I go all over to Preston and Blackpool to do my training.”

And the Bispham Endowed Primary School pupil, who is also a keen footballer who holds season tickets at both Fleetwood Town and Bolton Wanderers, says he intends to remain dedicated to taekwondo in the hope of competing on the international stage when he is older.

He said: “I want to keep doing it and I want to do it in the Olympics.”

Great Britain won its first ever gold medal in the sport at this summer’s Olympic Games in London, when Jade Jones triumphed in the women’s 57kg weight category. The martial art originates from Korea and involves competitors combining self-defence techniques with offensive point scoring moves using kicks to the head and body.

Lewis’ coach Master Lee Hayes has high hopes for his student in the future.

He said: “He’s very committed and he’s been fortunate enough to pass every grade.

“He could go all the way through to Master level and at his age he could keep on going right the way up to whatever he wants.

“He’s got the foundations to compete in the Olympics.”

Lewis has been competing in the sport since he was four and his grandad Fred, 62, has spent much of his time watching his progress and driving him to training centres across the area.

He said: “He’s done very well and you could always tell he’d got something about him when he got his first belts.

“He’s really keen and dedicated, there’s no doubt about it.”

Fred added he believes his grandson could one day compete at the highest level.

He said: “If he carries on doing what he’s doing he’s got a great chance.”

His grandmother Anne, 67, added: “It’s a great a achievement for his age because I don’t think there’s many eight-year-olds who have got black belts.

“We’re so proud of him and he’s done so well.”

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