An Iranian taekwondo athlete competing for the Olympic refugee team made a name for herself in Tokyo 2020 after beating two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones. Kimia Alizadeh defeated Team Great Britain’s Jones 1612 in the 16th round of the women’s 57kg Taekwondo on Sunday. In , she defeated the Chinese Lijun Zhou in the quarter-finals before losing to the Turkish Hatice Kubra Ilgun in the bronze medal match. Had Alizadeh won this game, it would have secured the first medal for the Olympic refugee team since it was founded in 2016.
Early on Sunday, Alizadeh defeated an athlete representing Iran Nahid Kiyani Chandeh in a qualifying round. Five years ago, Alizadeh became the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal for Iran after winning bronze in taekwondo at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Affectionately known as “The Tsunami” in Iran, Alizadeh announced in 2020 that he had finally left his homeland for Europe amid severe criticism of the Iranian regime. Kimia Alizadeh (blue) from the Olympic Refugee Team and Nahid Kiyani Chandeh (red) from Iran will compete in the knockout round of 57 kg Taekwondo women during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo on July 25, 2021 Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo. Alizadeh (blue)) and the Iranian Nahid Kiyani Chandeh (red) will compete in the 57 kg taekwondo round of women at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on July 25, 2021 in the Makuhari Messe Hall in Tokyo.
“I am one of millions of oppressed women in Iran with whom they have played for years,” wrote the athlete in an Instagram post in 2020 and explained why defected. The 23-year-old received refugee status in Germany and now lives in Bavarian Aschaffenburg. Alizadeh celebrates after defeating Jade Jones from Team Great Britain. Alizadeh celebrates after defeating Jade Jones from Team Great Britain. According to the German Taekwondo Union, Alizadeh is the third athlete who fled from Germany. According to information of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), 29 athletes are competing for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team in this year’s Games. IOC President Thomas Bach announced the creation of the Olympic Refugee Team, the first of its kind in 2015, as part of the committee’s commitment , “To help potential top athletes affected by the global refugee crisis.” American Anastasija Zol otic won 57kg women’s taekwondo gold after beating Tatiana Minina of the Russian Olympic Committee, who won silver.