Arab News Japan
TOKYO: Iranian Kimia Alizadehzenurin advanced to the semifinals in the 57-kilogram division of women’s taekwondo at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. Although, she failed to make it to the final, if she wins the third-place match, she will be the first refugee to win a medal since the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
She won a bronze medal for Iran at the Rio Olympics and became Iran’s first Olympic medalist. After that, she fled to Germany. This time, she participated in the Olympics as a member of a refugee team.
At the Rio Olympics, she wore a scarf under her protector in accordance with strict Islamic customs. This time, however, she participated without a scarf. In the first round, she was close to Jade Jones of the United Kingdom, who won in the London and Rio tournaments, but scored points in the final round. However, in the semifinals, she lost to a Russian.
The Mainichi newspaper reported that after taking bronze at the Rio Olympics, she felt her achievement was “used politically” to enhance national prestige. “I am one of the millions of women who have been suppressed,” she wrote in January 2008 amid growing opposition to the restriction of women’s rights. “I put on what I was told to wear and said what I was told to say. We’re just tools, so I fled to Germany.”