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VISTA, Calif. – David Delapaz won his first amateur Muay Thai national championship tournament before he legally could drive. And after watching the Tokyo games, he may have the drive to someday qualify for the Olympics.

“Training is my life, I don’t really do anything else besides train,” Delapaz said.

The Carlsbad teen started Muay Thai training at the age of 9 at the Carlsbad Kickboxing Club. 

“When I met him, he was a young squirrely little guy, not the most technical kid out there but full of energy,” said Rolando Montano, David’s trainer and the owner of the gym. 

That energy sparking four amateur national championship belts in Muay Thai for the 16-year-old.

“I won two USMTO tournaments in Arizona, I won one in Iowa – the TBA Classic and I won IKF in Myrtle Beach,” Delapaz said.

The Vista High School junior typically spends 2-3 hours a day in the gym on top of running roughly 12 miles a week. He recently earned an invitation from the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur fighters. 

“He’s been on kind of a tear. He’s been winning tournament after tournament,” Montano said, “And if that doesn’t show you he’s a champion, I don’t know what does.”   

David plans on graduating from high school in 2023 and he’s already training for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.