BEIRUT: Although some obstructing challenges are a theme for him, Karim Harik became the Lebanese champion in kickboxing and running.
Since the age of five, Harik was inspired by movie stars such as Schwarzenegger, Stallone, and Van Damme who enthused him to venture slowly into the world of Karate. His first triumph was at the age of eleven when he earned a Black Belt 1 Dan. For Harik, it wasn’t just a win, yet a more of a victorious moment that dragged him profoundly into the sports world.
“My passion for Kickboxing and Running has contributed to the person I am today. I release my stress and discipline myself through becoming a positive, strong, and dedicated player,” Harik told Annahar. “I challenge myself by evolving rapidly on a physical and mental level. Thus, competing internationally is the main source of consistent success.”
As a varsity team member at the Lebanese American University's Track and Field, Harik always ensured to maintain, with supervision, professional training that concorded with his time and vision. This has led him to receive the LAU Coach Award as well as win several national and international awards.
In Lebanon, Harik was ranked in the second place in the 10Km Naqoura Race, third place in the 5Km Ehden Race, fifth place in the USJ Overall Cross Country Race, first place in the 42Km Beirut Marathon Relay, first place in the 5Km Jounieh Race, and first and third places in the 400M and 60M Relays in the Jamhour Omni Sports Games of Beirut respectively.
Previously, Harik was able to complete three times the Lebanese Obstacles Course Racing (Hannibal Race).
“Attitude is a fundamental component for winning in any battle. People think that performance is the key to success, but for me, I cannot compete or even win if my morale, mood, and self-confidence aren’t aligned with each other,” mentioned Harik.
On an international level, Harik won multiple awards including second place in the 2018 OPAP Limassol Cyprus 5Km Marathon GSO, third place in the 2019 Edmonton Marathon 5km, and 5th overall, and finished the 2019 Riga 6Km Marathon in Lativia by earning a Gold Label Race IAAF.
This was followed by a victorious win in the 2020 Funchal 8km Marathon in Portugal when Harik was ranked in second place. His thirst was quenched by achieving further wins. For instance, Harik traveled to Korea and became a first-place winner in both the 3Km Race Age Category as well as the Overall 3Km Marathon.
Today, Harik is certified by the Canadian Mr. Marc Lebert (Equalizers) and has a black Belt in Karate (1 Dan), Brown Belt in Kickboxing, and a Brown Belt in MMA. Among his achievements in Martial arts, he won a Bronze in the Lebanese Cup and the Lebanese Championship, two Bronzes during the World Championship held in Athens, and two Bronzes medals in Bregenz, Austria.
“Having the nature of fitness and strength is always an advantage. Thus, we have to invest our potentials in representing Lebanon wherever we go despite the challenges we face as young athletes,” said Harik. “We shouldn’t be surprised or hesitant to step into the battlefield and fight like warriors. Instead, Lebanese athletes must compete unstoppably to improve the situation with hard work, perseverance, and leadership.”
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