Olympics-Taekwondo-Iranian refugee defeats ex-compatriot in quest for second taekwondo medal


FILE PHOTO: Iran's former only female Olympic medallist Kimia Alizadeh prepares for her Taekwondo training session in Aschaffenburg, Germany, February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

CHIBA, Japan (Reuters) - Refugee Kimia Alizadeh, who won a taekwondo bronze medal for Iran at the Rio Olympics, beat an erstwhile compatriot on Sunday to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic tournament in the women's -57kg category.

Competing under the white flag of the Refugee Olympic Team, 23-year-old Alizadeh was a clear favourite in the Makuhari Messe arena, entering to applause from members of the media and others present in a venue at which no general public spectators were allowed.

Cheers erupted again when she finished the match against Nahid Kiyanichandeh with an 18-9 win.

Alizadeh became the only woman to win an Olympic medal for Iran when she took bronze at Rio in 2016. She fled to Germany last year, and is one of three taekwondoin and 29 athletes competing for the refugee team at Tokyo.

Popular on Instagram with 407,000 followers, Alizadeh has abandoned the hijab she had worn in Rio, and has said she left her homeland because she was fed up with being used as a propaganda tool.

Alizadeh will advance to the Round of 16 contest to go up against Britain's Jade Jones, who is looking for a historic third gold medal on Sunday.

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Others

Hamilton can add 20 more wins to his record 100, says Brawn
Hamilton hits 100 but engine concerns hang over title bid
Sumo-Top-ranked Hakuho intends to retire - NHK
Mixed Martial Arts-Volkanovski, Shevchenko retain titles at UFC 266
Australian Rules-Demons scorch Bulldogs in AFL decider, end 57-year drought
Rowing-Parkinson steps down as British Rowing CEO after poor Olympics display
Gymnast Aly Raisman opens up about sexual abuse in TV special
Olympics - USOPC 'dedicated' to settlement plan for Nassar abuse victims
Motor racing - Hamilton under more pressure than Verstappen, says Horner
NFL - Return of American football brings joy amid COVID-19 malaise

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers