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updated: 8/29/2013 5:50 PM

Deerfield teen wins gold at USA Taekwondo National Championship

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For taekwondo blue belt Jun Hwan Park of Deerfield, a new student of the White Tiger Martial Arts Center in Wheeling, the 2013 USA Taekwondo National Championship was a milestone of personal achievement. The 16-year-old came home from the tournament -- the world's largest taekwondo competition -- proudly bearing a gold medal in poomsae, also known as forms.

"Jun Hwan's competitiveness and ability at forms are truly inspiring," said Park's instructor, White Tiger Head Master Skik Lee. "He succeeded at the challenge that was presented to him, and has brought immense pride to himself, his family and our center."

More than 4,000 athletes competed at this year's national championship, held in Chicago, IL from July 3-9 and boasting Olympic-level training technology. The United States Olympic Committee recognizes USA Taekwondo as the governing body for the sport in the U.S., and victory at USAT's national level is an important step on the road to compete for the U.S. at the XXXI Olympic Summer Games, to be held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.