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Assaf Yasur at the World Para Taekwondo Championships

Israeli Who Lost Both Hands at Age 13 Takes Gold at World Para Taekwondo Championships

Israeli competitor Assaf Yasur won a gold medal on Saturday, December 11, at the World Para Taekwondo Championships, held in Istanbul.

Yasur, 19, who lost both his arms below the elbow six years ago, kicked his way to victory over a Turkish rival in the Men’s under-58 kilogram weight category. He beat Qli Can Ozcan by 57-42 points to claim the medal.

“I still haven’t absorbed it,” Yasur said after his victory, noting he had faced five different competitors in bouts during the day to win the final. In the semi-final, he defeated the European champion.

“I am happy, and I am the happiest person for the path I chose, for the medal, and for this crazy day,” Yasur said.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid tweeted that Yasur is “not just a source of huge national pride for our country, but he is also a reminder that willpower can take you to the loftiest peaks.”

Though Yasur did not qualify for the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year, his win in Istanbul sets him on the path to being a strong candidate for the Paris games in 2024.

Noa Shmida, secretary-general of the Israel Taekwondo Federation, also welcomed Yasur’s “amazing achievement.” (TOI / VFI News)

“God, we thank you for bestowing gifts and talents on all of Your children. May we all honor You by bringing our gifts into the world.”