A refugee team member from Iran who competes in taekwondo just missed out on their first medal.
N. Kiyani Chandeh Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Kimia Alizadeh, an Iranian defector, narrowly lost to Turkey’s Hatice Kübra lgün in a bronze medal match in taekwondo at the Tokyo Olympics.
Iran now has its first-ever Olympic medallist in female form thanks to Alizadeh, who took bronze for her country in Rio.
She qualified as a refugee athlete and competed in Tokyo, where she won her first three matches and was within striking distance of a historic medal before losing her final two matches.
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Sunday in Tokyo, the 23-year-old Alizadeh upset two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones, the British champion, 16-12. Her first match was against Nahid Kiyani Chandeh of Iran, whom she defeated.
She won the quarterfinals against China’s Zhou Lijun 9-8 thanks to a thrilling comeback in the final minute, but she fell to Russia’s Tatiana Minina 10-3 in the semifinals of the women’s 57-kilogram division.
After the First Period, Alizadeh led lgün by a Point, but She could not Score again Until it was too Late.
The refugee squad has competed in two Olympic Games since its 2016 inception, but they have yet to bring home a medal.
It sent ten athletes to its first Olympics in Rio, and it will send 29 to Tokyo. Among those athletes are three taekwondo competitors, all of whom have been training in Germany.
While Alizadeh’s Olympic triumph made her a hero in Iran at the age of 18, her decision to flee was motivated in part by her objection to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s institutionalised sexism and its requirement that women wear the hijab headscarf.
In a passionate statement announcing her defection on social media, she harshly criticised Iran for exploiting her for propaganda purposes and compared making the decision to winning an Olympic gold medal.
Due to injuries sustained before leaving Iran, Alizadeh did not participate between 2018 and this year, but the postponing of the Tokyo Olympics due to a pandemic allowed her to compete in the European qualifiers, bringing her back to the Olympics.
On the first night of her run in Tokyo, Alizadeh boxed and defeated Kiyani, a close friend who was also wearing a headscarf. Without covering her head or hair, Alizadeh walked into the Makuhari Messe convention hall. Later, she thanked the Iranian team’s coaches.
By Defeating Jones,
Who was trying to make history as the first three-time taekwondo gold winner and the first British woman to win gold in any sport at three successive Olympics, Alizadeh had her finest moment in Tokyo.
With only 30 seconds remaining, the score was knotted at 10-10. However, Alizadeh scored two body kicks for a total of four points, which put him ahead for good.
In the midst of the biggest upset of the taekwondo tournament, Alizadeh yelled and celebrated with her coach as the small crowd of Olympians and support employees in the arena exploded in startled roars.
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Before the Third Round of their Quarterfinal, Zhou Held a 6-4 Advantage.
However, Alizadeh tied the match with a body kick in the final 90 seconds. With 40 seconds left, Alizadeh scored a stunning three points with a head kick, but Zhou quickly responded with a two-point body kick of his own.
In the waning seconds, Alizadeh sidestepped danger and held on for a triumph that had her collapsing on the floor.
After her triumph over Jones, Alizadeh’s social media following exploded by the thousands on Instagram.
In doing so, she became the latest prominent athlete to leave the Iranian sports establishment in protest of the government’s treatment and policies.
Iran was banned from the International Judo Federation for four years in April after the country refused to let its athletes compete against Israelis.
Saeid Mollaei, a former Iranian judo competitor, said he was told to lose in the semifinals of the 2019 world championships in Tokyo to avoid potentially confronting Israeli world champion Sagi Muki in the finals, and the International Judo Federation (IJF) said this highlighted Iran’s tactics.
Mollaei fled to Germany in 2019, and he will be competing for Mongolia on Tuesday at the Tokyo Olympics.
Refereeing legend Alireza Faghani fled Iran for Australia in 2019.