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June 3, 2004

Avi Bokler - 2004 Deaf World Karate Champion From Israel

From: DEAFSPORTLAWSUIT - Jun 3, 2004

For Immediate Press Release

Israel's Avi Bokler Wins 3 Medals in Karate

Moscow, Russia - 12fth Deaf World Championship in Martial Arts ended with resounding success of Russian athletes in judo and karate. The host nation collected an aggregate of 24 medals, including 7 gold, 8 silver and 9 bronze.

But, the biggest surprise of the World Championships was the performance of Avi Bokler of Haifa, Israel, who won the full set of medals - gold, silver and bronze - earned in three different disciplines of karate.

In honor of Avi Bokler the three times the flag of the State of Israel rose highly at the medal stand and in front of many competitors, officials and spectators at the Grand Sports Complex of Izmailovo in Moscow.

Avi ( his real first name was Zhenya or Yevgenii ) Bokler is a native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, but his parents are originally from the city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The family moved to live in Israel in 1990, when Avi was 9.

In his interview with Rafael Pinkhasov, a prominent deaf sports journalist from New York, Avi stated that winning the three medals in Moscow was his proudest moment in his illustrous karate career and that he hopes one day soon the sport of karate will be included as an official medal event in the program of the Deaflympic Summer Games.

"I hope one day soon to become the first ever Deaflympic champion from Israel," said Avi Bokler.

Since 1957 Israel has been participating at the CISS-sponsored Deaflympic Games, but, to date, Israel has not produced a single Deaflympic Games gold medalist yet! In 1993 the men's Israeli basketball team won the bronze medal at the Deaflympic Games - Israel's only medal at these Games' history, so far!

At the Moscow championships Avi was accompanied by the two officials from Israel - Shimon Maman as a delegation leader and Tzvi Bronfman, his coach and manager.

14 various countries of Europe, Asia and South America sent their male and female athletes in four different disciplines of judo,karate, taekwondo and wushu to the Moscow championships.