Siblings among winners of latest Daniel Sacks award

Two brothers are among the 2017 winners of the Daniel Sacks Awards for Outstanding Young Athletic Achievement.


Joshua and Adam Firsht join Emma Taylor and Idan Gal-Shohet as recipients of the prestigious award, now in its eighth year. Its purpose is to encourage wider participation in athletics and to keep alive the memory of Daniel Sacks, who loved the sport.

Shaftesbury Barnet field event specialist Taylor, now 17, attained national ranking in the javelin, hammer and shot put. Her competitive season included two event victories in the Eastern Young Athletes League.

“My favourite event is the javelin and my most satisfying performance was setting a new best of 33.34m. In fact, I improved in all four throwing disciplines, including the discus,” said Taylor.

Long jumper Idan Gal-Shohet competed in the Under-20 age group, though he was still 16 throughout the season. His furthest jumps, 6.78m and a slightly wind-assisted 6.81m, were longer than the spectacular world record leap that took Mary Rand to Olympic gold in 1964.

Highgate Harrier Gal-Shohet placed second in the Middlesex championships, won junior bronze at the Maccabiah in Israel, and gained several league victories.

Gal-Shohet said: “I feel most proud of my performance in the South of England championship. My technique wasn’t great and I had a few foul jumps. But in the last round I was able to focus and apply my training under pressure as I moved up from fifth to take the silver medal.”

A 400m specialist, Joshua Firsht, now 17, struck gold at the Independent Schools Association national championships. But his most pleasing performance came when he came second in the Sussex Schools championships.

He explained: “My GCSEs were about to start and I was in two minds about whether to race. But I came close to winning and set a new PB of 51.91.”

Brother Adam, 14, an 800m runner, was second in the Sussex Schools championships, then one week later he achieved his season’s ambition as he recorded an England Schools qualification time of 2:04.92 at the South Eastern Schools championships.

“That performance was my proudest achievement. At the start of the season I did not think it was possible,” said Adam.

His second fastest run came in hot and humid conditions at the England Schools championships themselves. “It was amazing to compete in front of a big crowd in one of the largest youth competitions in the world,” he said.

Three previous award winners each struck gold at the world’s premier Jewish sporting competition. Eden Davis, 18, gained a Junior 100m and 200m sprint double at the Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem, with his performances sandwiched between GB junior international appearances.

Ellie Edwards, now 21, demolished her personal bests to take senior gold in the 200m and silver in the 100m, while David Stone, 15, ran a brilliant tactical race to take the junior 3,000m title against runners three years his senior.

Hannah Viner, 21, raced prolifically on track, road and cross-country. She was second in both the Middlesex and London cross-country championships and won two international 10k races in Spain. But her finest achievement was her remarkable victory in the England U23 5,000m championships.

Richard Goodman, 24, ran four races in the Metropolitan League and won them all, as well as taking the Middlesex cross-country title. On the track he passed a long-
awaited milestone in running 5,000m in 13:59.94.

Racing often in the Eastern Young Athletes League and in Watford Open Graded meetings, Gilad Nachshen cut his 800m best to 2:04.44 to rank second in the UK for first-year U15s.

Woodford Green javelin specialist James Bongart, 21, added almost 4m to his personal best. His throw of 62.08m puts him sixth in the UK  U23 standings.

Blackheath & Bromley pole vaulter Sophie Dowson, 19, moved to UK U20 fourth place with a clearance of 3.91m.

Lia Radus culminated an excellent run of form with a close second in the South of England Athletics U17 1,500m championships. Her time of 4:33.34 places her 13th in the U17 national rankings, while she remains in the age group next year.

Younger sister Maayan, 13, beat five minutes for 1,500m on three occasions and ranked seventh in the UK in her year group for 3,000m.

Sprinter and jumper Roger Bruck, 78, continued to belie his age by winning four golds in the Southern Counties veterans championships and two golds, a silver and a bronze at the British Masters championships.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive