19 July 2011, Chun Cheon, Korea - Fifty-four year old brain tumor patient Ali Bahcetepe (Turkey) has won the world title in taekwondo only seven months after brain surgery.
Ali underwent an operation back in December 2010 for a life-threatening brain tumor. Despite all their efforts the doctors could only remove half of his brain tumor safely.
Ali has won the gold medal at the Open International Taekwondo Championship in Chuncheon Korea (14-19th July), where he competed with healthy athletes.
Ali said; “This is the victory of faith and perseverance. It has not been easy for me to prepare for the competition. Most of my opponents don’t even know about my condition. Nevertheless I was able to win and show the patients all over the world that if they believe in it they can even become the world champion taekwondo. I am the living proof of it! I hope this becomes a source of inspiration and hope for all of them”
Ali’s doctors say that what he achieved was a true miracle. One commented “It was very risky to compete in a close combat sport with a hole in the head and a half of a big tumor up there”.
Ali is no stranger to risk. He is also holder of 11 Guinness World Records in breaking concrete blocks with his bare hands. He plans to attempt to shatter his own previous world record (1135 blocks) by breaking 1145 concrete blocks in under 60 seconds.
Ali is high spirited and determined despite his age and his serious health condition. He says “Brain tumor!? It’s just another concrete block to break and I am certainly very good in it” He says his goal now is to have 20 Guinness World Records and 20 World titles under his name. “I am only half way there but I believe I can still do it “.
Ali will continue with his therapy for his brain tumor after his return from the championship.