Israeli Olympic hopeful attacked; loses shot at competing

Israeli Olympic hopeful, Maor Ben Harush from Nahariya was run over by a fellow teenager following a verbal altercation that took place on Friday night.

The eleventh-grader Ben Harush, who is a three-time Israeli youth champion of Laser Radial wind surfing, had both of his legs shattered due to being run over in what police are suspecting to be a criminal attack. Ben Harush had also won two bronze medals during world championship competitions.

Doctors at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya said that Maor will eventually heal, but the rehabilitation that he will have to undergo will take years.

Maor relayed the events of the accident to Yediot Aharonot news site. “We were sitting at a friend’s house, not to far away from mine when we got into a fight. There were no fists and we didn’t even curse each other out. I remember calling him a clown. He told me ‘give me two minutes to call my brother and we’ll see who the clown is.’”

Maor said that following the threat he and another friend left on their bicycles, and headed to Maor’s house which was not too far away. Before they reached the house, a Mazda 3 rammed into them both at which point Maor lost consciousness. “The next thing I remember I woke up in the Hospital.”

Twenty year-old, Nir Gaporov, is suspected of carrying out the attack and has been apprehended by police. Gaporov and his lawyer Yaron Shomron claim that the incident was a car accident and not an intended attack, as Gaporov lost control of his vehicle before ramming into Ben Harush and his friend.

According to police investigators, the story doesn’t match the facts of the incident. Police said that Gaporov is suspected of causing trauma and injury in aggravated circumstances, as well as abandoning the scene of a car accident and and conspiracy to commit a crime.

For years Ben Harush had been training to participate in the Olympics and was thought to be one of Israel’s up-and-coming athletes. Following the incident, Ben Harush went through a five hour long surgery after which the resident head of Orthopedics at the hospital told Ben Harush’s father that had Ben Harush not been an active sportsman, the damage done in the crash would have caused a double amputation.

Maor’s friend suffered a broken hand and a bruised leg in the crash. He received treatment in the hospital and has already been released.

Ben Harush’s father lamented his son’s injuries and the lost opportunity of competing in the Olympics. “The way was paved for him. He sacrificed everything in order to get this shot at competing, and now it is ruined, and for what? For 'honor'? The doctors are saying it will be years of physiotherapy and rehab before Maor will be back to normal.”  


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