An Israeli teenager has become the first Israeli to win a para taekwondo gold medal this week when Asur Yasur beat all competitors in the under 58kg category of the World Para Taekwondo Championship in Instanbul on 11 December 2021.

Yasur, 19, had both hands amputated when he was 12-years-old after a freak accident. He was playing football with some friends near his home in the Golan Heights when he went to retrieve a ball that had landed in an electrical installation. After getting the ball he accidentally touched a high-voltage cable and was electrocuted. His hands were badly damaged and both had to be amputated.

At the time of his accident, Yasur’s story was broadcast on Israeli news channels as seen in the video below. He also had a special Bar Mitzvah at the hospital as the accident happened just five days before his thirteenth birthday.

Yasur won Taekwondo gold in Istanbul on Saturday and beat the 2019 bronze medalist Ali Can Ozcan of Turkey by 15 points. Notably, the last time he had faced Ozcan, he’d lost by 20 points. A display of his improved performance.

Yasur said that each of the day’s matches was challenging but said, “I am the happiest person for the way I performed, for the medal and for this crazy day.”

Yasur told World Para Taekwondo that his coach, Yehiam Sharabi, encouraged him by saying, “You’re faster than anyone, you’re stronger than anyone. Don’t stop attacking… if he kicks you, you kick more.”

This result sets Yasur in good stead for attending the next Paralympic Games having failed to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games last summer. His aim is to be part of Israel’s next paralympic squad.

Israeli 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 highest peaks.”

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