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Women’s Taekwondo Iranian refugee to face fighter from her old country

A DEFECTOR from Iran who competes in taekwondo for the refugee team at the Tokyo Olympics was drawn today to face an Iranian opponent in the qualifying round.

Kimia Alizadeh, who left Iran citing institutional sexism, will face Nahid Kiyani Chandeh in the 57-kilogram class on Sunday.

Alizadeh was the first Iranian women to win an Olympic medal when she took bronze at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games when she was 18. She later criticised wearing the mandatory hijab headscarf, which she had to wear in Rio, and left Iran to live in Germany.

“I have a great feeling to have made a decision for my life that would definitely change my future,” she said last year in Germany.

Alizadeh, a two-time world championship medallist and 2014 Youth Olympics champion, was selected for the 29-athlete Refugee Olympic Team last month.

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