Il quarantenne israeliano Eitan Hermon è un atleta disabile che parteciperà al Campionato del Mondo di Maratona per disabili che si svolgerà nel contesto della Virgin Money London Marathon, in programma domenica 26 aprile 2015.
Eitan Hermon correrà nella categoria T42 che accoglie gli atleti con una protesi ad un arto solo e parteciperà con l'idea di conquistare il record del mondo di maratona per la sua categoria di disabilità che è, allo stato, attestato sul crono di 2h57'06.
Nel 2006, mentre prestava servizio come soldato in Libano, venne ferito gravemente ad una gamba dall'esplosione di una bomba. I medici volevano fare di tutto per salvare l'arto danneggiato, ma ciò avrebbe comportato una permanente disabilità e l'impossibilità di correre.
Eitan Hermon insistette con i medici perché effettuassero l'amputazione in modo tale da consentirgli in seguito di potere utilizzare una speciale protesi che gli avrebbe consentito di tornare a correre.
E' stato riabilitato e preparato a correre la Maratona dall'Associazione TIKVOT che si pone ilcompito di riabilitare i feriti di guerra e le vittime delle azioni terroristiche attraverso lo sport.
The athlete who chose amputation to run the marathon (24/04/2015)
It’s a fair bet that few people who get injured in a bomb blast declare “One day I will run a marathon” while being rushed to hospital on a stretcher. But those were the words of Eitan Hermon, who will compete for Israel in the IPC Athletics Marathon World Championships at this weekend’s Virgin Money London Marathon.
Hermon is a T42 athlete, which means he competes with one prosthetic leg, and on Sunday he is not only running a marathon, but hoping to break the world record for his category of 2:57:06. He already holds an unofficial world record over 10km, and holds the second fastest single-amputee marathon time of 3:00:46.
Hermon grew up in a Kibbutz, a collective farming community, where he his love of running began.
“I used to run a lot when I was young and I liked it, I’d go for 5 km or 10 km - he says - After leaving school I went into the Israeli army. I served in the first Lebanon war but my leg was badly damaged during my compulsory yearly call-up during the second Lebanon war in 2006. There was an explosion, and I suddenly felt pain but then I didn’t feel anything at all,” he remembers. “I was more worried about internal injuries at first. Then we got to the hospital and I had an operation straight away. I told the doctors I needed to continue running and said they must do everything to save my leg. I was in the hospital for six weeks. After eight months I decided all the pain meant they should amputate my leg below the knee so I could run with a prosthetic leg. Running was something I had done my whole life and this was the way for me to get back to what I was”.
The Israeli ran his best marathon time in Berlin in 2014 after overcoming some difficulties where his prosthetic leg was rubbing against his skin and causing pain.
The 40-year-old explained: “I came to Berlin on crutches with a sore leg and did an amazing time. But this is my first time at the London Marathon and I hope everything will be good, all the conditions will be right. On Sunday we will know. I need a good race here. I’m only interested in the race, all the rest happening around it doesn’t matter. I will focus on the race”.
Hermon has been able to reach his current level of performance after receiving help from Tikvot, an organisation that rehabilitate wounded soldiers and terror victims through sport.
Rocky Muravitz, chairman and co-founder of Tikvot, said: “Our organisation met Eitan when he was in hospital. We meet all the injured soldiers and terror victims there and encourage them to come and do sport with us. Eitan is a prime example. As he said, he wanted to get back to what he was, and he did it through sport. He’s very excited that the IPC have acknowledged him. Now he’s been accepted as he is, he really wants to put in a strong performance here and get more amputees competing in future. He’s prepared to run for another five years and he hopes a marathon race for his category will be included in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.”