Israeli competitor Assaf Yasur won the gold medal on Saturday at the World Para Taekwondo Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey.
The 19-year-old amputee, who lost both of his arms below the elbow six years ago, beat his Turkish rival Qli Can Ozcan in the Men’s under-127 pound weight category.
“I still haven’t wrapped my head around it,” said Yasur after his victory. “I am happy, and I am the happiest person for the path I chose, for the medal, and for this crazy day."
Yasur faced five different competitors during the day on his way to the final, overcoming the reigning European champion in the semi-final.
Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper congratulated Yasur, describing the taekwondo fighter as “a wonderful young man for whom the sky is the limit.”
Noa Shmida, secretary-general of the Israel Taekwondo Federation, added that “Assaf has been identified by the Taekwondo Federation as having huge potential for medals in major competitions, world championships, and the Paralympic Games in Paris.”
Yasur lost both his arms when he was only 13 years old, after falling off a fence in an electrical facility and grabbing a high-voltage cable that resulted in critical injuries that required his arms to be amputated.
After his story was covered, members of the public raised some $250,000 for him to be fitted with prosthetic bionic arms that he controls via brain signals.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.