(photo credit: )
For his bravery and decisiveness in saving Israeli kayaking champion, Yasmin Feingold (20), from drowning in the Yarkon River, Avi Toibin (62) is set to receive the President's Decoration from Shimon Perez on the 24th of the month at the President's house in Jerusalem.
Toibin, who regularly strolls in the evening around the banks of the Yarkon, noticed Feingold's kayak flipped over, bobbing on the surface of the water.
He quickly went into action, throwing off his shoes and pants before entering water. He managed to free Feingold's leg from the kayak and carried her unconscious to shore.
Yasmin has been recovering well from her near fatal accident. After three days of uncertainty, she regained the ability to breathe on her own. The following week, she was healthy enough to be taken from Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, to Levinstein Hospital, a rehabilitation center in Ra'anana.
It is suspected that the highly polluted water of the Yarkon River, which Feingold swallowed while she was submerged, is responsible for much of the damage the accident caused.
The kayaker has won the national crew championship in the women's 1,000-meter single event and the four-woman team event the last three years running.
Last Wednesday a poignant meeting took place between Feingold and Toibin at his business in Tel Aviv, Dizengoff Printers.
"I was very happy to be meeting with her," said Toibin. "The last time I had seen her she was face down in the water."
Feingold's training coach has been updating Toibin on the kayaker's status, and it was he who brought Feingold together with her savior.
"She looked very niceâ€¦ she was laughing and everything," added Toibin, while explaining the kayaker's surprising health and exuberance at the meeting.
He explained that she had full movement over her body, adding, "She looked very good. She was nice girl, very polite."