Shalom Life | April 13, 2014

Two Religious Israeli Girls Win Gold At Boxing Competition In Thailand

18-year-olds Nili Block and Sarah Avraham receive Muay Thai boxing titles

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 19th, 2013 in News » World

Two Religious Israeli Girls Win Gold At Boxing Competition In Thailand

Two Israeli 12th-graders, 18-year-olds Nili Block and Sarah Avraham, have both won gold medals at an international muay thai boxing tournament in Thailand.

At the same event, Israeli Thai boxer Ilya Grad was crowned the 2013 World Muaythai Council (WMC) World Champion.

Block, a native of Beit Shemesh, is no stranger to physical endurance, and has received several accolades in her young distinguished life. She 's received first place for her age group in the XIX KickBox World Cup in Hungary, and also was one of the first to complete the 2013 Jerusalem Marathon 10k run.

Block was only ten when she took an interest in Muay Thai, which she learned via her mother, a volunteer for Israel's Border Police. She, alongside Avraham, seem indifferent to the concept of getting hurt in battle.

“It doesn’t bother me to get hurt,” Avraham said to ISRAEL21c. “It happens so often it’s part of life already.”

Avraham, who arrived in Kiryat Arba four years ago after leaving Mumbai with her family, claims she has always been interested in martial arts and self-defense.

What also sets these two girls apart, particularly from other female fighters, is that they are both religious Jews involved in a very male-dominated sport.

According to ISRAEL21c, both girls bring kosher food with them to each fight, and consult with a rabbi regarding competing on Shabbat and other such issues.

Block, who will begin military service this summer, says she has applied for status as an athlete soldier, so she can continue training and compete throughout her service.

“My goal is to get to the Olympics in regular boxing, and I know I have the potential,” she said. “I have already hired a coach.”

Avraham will be undertaking a year of national service in Kiryat Arba.

Both warriors are set to attend both a Thai boxing competition in Ukraine and a kickboxing contest in Poland later this year.

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