The Gordon brothers are proud representatives of Israel, crediting hard work and God for their remarkable success in Muaythai competitions.
By Tsivya Fox-Dobuler
In an Israeli first, three brothers won medals at the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA)-EMF European Championships, held in Minsk, Belarus November 4-11. In total, the Israeli delegation took home an astounding 14 medals combined from the Thai boxing tournament.
It is the first time that the three Gordon brothers, from the biblical city of Shiloh in Samaria, could participate in the same competition, as the junior category was just included.
“Everyone excitedly anticipated ‘Team Gordon’ at international competitions as representatives of Israel,” the boys’ mother Chaninat HaShem told United With Israel. “The brothers feel that they are responsible for carrying the Nation of Israel with them in every country where they compete. They believe that every medal they fight for is for all of the people of Israel and brings glory to God and the State of Israel.”
Muaythai, or Thai boxing, is a combat sport from Thailand that combines the use of fists, elbows, knees and shins, along with various clinching techniques. IFMA is a branch of the Olympic committee. The Belarus competition is the biggest in Europe, with 35 countries and 349 athletes competing. It is also part of the qualifying process for the 2021 World Games.
“It is a privilege to be able to represent Israel in international competitions, something I started doing when I was 13 years old,” Kibedy Gordon, 19, told United With Israel. “It always makes me proud to be an Israeli and a Jew standing on the podium getting a medal.”
Kibedy won a silver medal at the competition in the senior elite male 60 kg category. Previously, he was crowned the European Champion in 2017 for the junior 57 kg class.
Chaninat HaShem, told United With Israel that there are high hopes that Kibedy will compete in the Olympics.
Ahavat Gordon,13, is the reigning national champion in the youth male 12-13 year-old 46 kg category. He won a gold medal in the Belarus competition.
“Like my brothers, I love Muaythai,” Ahavat told United With Israel. “It helps me on a daily basis to focus and be disciplined in life through strict training and diet. Through competing, I started praying every day to God. I thank Him always and He helps me all the time. I love representing Israel when competing in this sport. I make friends from around the world.”
Ruach Gordon, 16, is the reigning national champion in the youth male 16-17 year-old 45 kg category. He won a gold medal in the Belarus competition.
“I believe I was born to fight but, more importantly, I was given the gift of fighting for Israel through Muaythai,” Ruach told United With Israel. “I always pray before every bout and ask God to help me win. Actually, to win for Him. I thank God every time when I earn a medal for Israel.”
Chaninat HaShem explained her sons’ successes to United With Israel. “They believe, through their hard work, discipline and prayers, that they will get through every bout, even though there is a lot of pressure.”
The sport is becoming increasingly popular in Israel due, in part, to the many championships Israeli competitors have won globally. Coach Benny Cogan trains Israel’s national kickboxing and Muaythai fighters, leading five of these competitors to medal-winning performances.
With its 14 medals, Israel ranked fourth place in Belarus, the highest ever in an international competition, behind Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine.
The other Israeli medalists are: