User:Epeefleche/sandbox Sarah Avraham
|Born||1993/1994 (age 23–24)
|Style||Muay Thai kickboxer|
|Rank||Women's World Thai-Boxing Champion (57–63 kilos; 125–140 pounds weight class)|
Avraham converted to Judaism and moved to Israel after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
She was the 2012 Israeli women's champion in Thai boxing, in the 57–63 kilos (125–140 pounds) weight class. Avraham is also the 2014 Women's World Thai-Boxing Champion in her weight class.
Her first and last names are the names of the world’s first Jews, Avraham and Sarah, who are believed to be buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. In India, she was school champion in track and field.
The two were killed in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, by terrorists who attacked the Mumbai Chabad House where the couple served as emissaries. Avraham said that at the time of the attack:
We didn’t know that there were terrorists in Chabad House. We called and called, but Gabi and Rivka didn’t answer, and then suddenly we saw on TV what happened there.
Avraham was 14 years old at the time.
She and her family were drawn so close to the Jewish people that in the wake of the attack and the killings of their friends they converted to Judaism, and immigrated to Israel one year after the attack.
Immigration to Israel
They settled in the West Bank/Judea Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba, south of Jerusalem, on the outskirts of Hebron, where she now lives. Noting that while in India it was risky to leave her house after 8 P.M., Avraham said: "I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world ... here I feel safe and happy. People here helped us very much. I will live here for my whole life."
She is now a religious Orthodox Jew, and studies in the ulpana, a religious school for Orthodox girls, in Kiryat Arba. Avraham also volunteers as a firewoman, and has taken part in scores of firefighting operations.
Thai boxing career
While studying at the religious girls school in Kiryat Arba, Avraham decided to take up sports.
Fitness trainer Michael Pollack, from the Jewish neighborhood in neighboring Hebron, integrated her training with kickboxing. He put Avraham in touch with Thai boxing coach Eddie Yusopov, who became her trainer.
Avraham trains in Muay Thai boxing five times a week, at the boxing center at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium. As is the case with most Israeli athletes, she does not receive any funding. To pay for her training (NIS 230 a month) and trips abroad for competitions, since doesn’t like to ask for money (“I still remember how we had nothing when we got here”), she cleans houses and also works as a dog walker and waitress. Avraham also hitchikes to her practices in Jerusalem, as she doesn't have money to take the bus. Because she is religious, she brings kosher food with her when she travels to fights.
2012 Israeli Champion
In September 2012, a year after she began training professionally, Avraham won the Israeli national women’s Thai boxing championship in her weight class of 57–63 kilos (125–140 pounds) at the age of 18.
Pollack said: "She draws her strength from where we live in Kiryat Arba. This gives her an inner strength that explodes in the ring." As to her skills, he observes: "Sarah has tremendous legs and she’s flexible − she reaches the head with her kicks. It’s very impressive when Sarah goes into battle."
2014 World Champion
Her trainer is still trying to work on one aspect of her approach, observing:
Before fights, Sarah makes friends with her opponent. She goes over to her, hugs her. I tell her she can hug afterward, not during the competition. She can say hello as one athlete to another. But that’s the way she is. That’s what I want to get out of her, for her not to be so naive, for her to be nasty in her approach and in the fight itself.
Avraham, however, smilingly observes: "What can I do? I’m nice, I love everyone. But what happens outside the ring doesn’t affect what happens in it."
- McKinsey, Rebecca (September 23, 2012). "Ex-Hindu is Israel's Thai-boxing queen; New women’s champion Sarah Avraham immigrated from Mumbai after 2008 Chabad House attack". The Times of Israel. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Moore, Jack (March 25, 2014). "Israeli Hebron Settler Wins Women's World Thai Boxing Title". Yahoo News. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Naomi Darom. "Glove story: Two Orthodox girls' journey from religious school to boxing glory". Haaretz. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu (May 13, 2013). "Two Religious Girls Box-Kick Their Way to World Champions (video)". The Jewish Press. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Jack Moore (March 25, 2014). "Israeli Hebron Settler Wins Women's World Thai Boxing Title". International Business Times. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Aryeh Savir (March 24, 2014). "Israeli (Settler) Wins Woman’s World Thai-boxing Championship". The Jewish Press. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Akiva Novick (May 16, 2013). "Religious girls are Muay Thai champs; Two pious teenagers from Beit Shemesh, Kiryat Arba strike opponents mercilessly to win Thailand-style kickboxing world championship in Bangkok". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Daniel Koren (July 19, 2013). "Two Religious Israeli Girls Win Gold At Boxing Competition In Thailand". Shalom Life. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Naomi Darom (July 6, 2013). "2 Orthodox Women Aim for Boxing Glory". Forward. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- "Girl Converted By Mumbai Martyrs Is World Muay Thai Champ". Thailand Science & Technology News. April 3, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- "Une convertie par les martyrs de Bombay devient championne du monde de boxe thaï" (in French). Juif.org. March 27, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
- "Ex-Hindu is Israel’s Thai-boxing queen" (video), Times of Israel, September 23, 2012