Israeli amputee is feeling the love


Israeli Eitan Hermon completed his first London Marathon in an impressive three hours and seven minutes. And afterwards he removed his right leg.

Mr Hermon's leg was amputated just below the knee after his tank was hit by a roadside bomb during the 2006 Lebanon War. But he never lost his spirit, telling anyone who would listen: "I will still run a marathon!"

He has since finished 11 and is regarded as the world's second-best single-amputee marathon man. He has been assisted in his quest by Israeli charity Tikvot, which helps wounded soldiers and terror victims to recuperate through sport. His personal best is three hours, which is three minutes shy of the world record.

He had hoped to attack this mark on Sunday, but given the unfamiliar course, he felt his time was "metsuyan" -- excellent. I had pains in my leg during the race, but that always happens," Mr Hermon explained in the post-race tent.

"It didn't stop me in any way, but the stump is damaged now. Apart from not getting the world record, I'm proud." As the only entrant in his category, he was assured of the gold medal.

"I was supported the whole way," he added. "People were standing along the route with big banners reading: 'Eitan Hermon'and 'Tikvot.' They made me feel very encouraged. And the whole time, people were shouting 'Hermon, Hermon, Hermon', clapping as if they knew me. Representing Israel in a race like this gives me a positive feeling."

London Marathon chief executive Nick Bitel praised Mr Hermon's "wonderful performance. I had the pleasure of talking to him in the lift on Friday. He's quite something."

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