IOC announces names of refugee athletes for Tokyo Olympics

The Coca-Cola Company President and CEO James Quincey, IOC President Thomas Bach and Mengniu Dairy Executive Director and CEO Minfang Lu shake hands at a news conference before the 134th session of International Olympic Committee (IOC) during which the host city for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games will be decided in Lausanne, Switzerland, June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Lausanne, June 8 (IANS) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday approved the list of 29 refugee athletes who will compete at the Tokyo Olympics under the Olympic flag.

During the opening ceremony on July 23, the refugee athletes — from 13 host National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competing in 12 sports — will enter the stadium “in second position after Greece”.

Kenya’s Tegla Loroupe, Olympian and former marathon world-record holder, will be the team’s Chef de Mission.

The selection of the refugee team for Tokyo was based on the athletes’ sporting performance and their refugee status as confirmed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Personal background and “balanced representativity in terms of sport, gender and regions, were also considered”.

The full Refugee Olympic Team (EOR) delegation will meet for the first time in Doha on July 12 and 13, before flying to Tokyo on July 14.

On Tuesday, the 29 athletes met for the first time in a virtual ceremony during which IOC president, Thomas Bach, officially announced their participation in the Games.

“I speak on behalf of the entire Olympic Movement when I say that we cannot wait to meet you in person and to see you compete in Tokyo. When you, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team and the athletes from the NOCs from all over the globe, finally come together in Tokyo on July 23, it will send a powerful message of solidarity, resilience and hope to the world. You are an integral part of our Olympic community, and we welcome you with open arms,” Bach said.

List (gender, event, host NOC and country of origin in parenthesis):

Aquatics: Alaa Maso (M, 50m freestyle, Germany, Syria); Yusra Mardini (W, 100m butterfly, Germany, Syria)

Athletics: Dorian Keletela (M, 100m, Portugal, Congo) Rose Nathike Likonyen (W, 800m, Kenya, South Sudan); James Nyang Chiengjiek (M, 800m, Kenya, South Sudan); Anjelina Nadai Lohalith (W, 1500m, Kenya, South Sudan); Paulo Amotun Lokoro (M, 1500m, Kenya, South Sudan); Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed (M, 5000m, Israel, Sudan); Tachlowini Gabriyesos (M, Marathon, Israel, Eritrea)

Badminton: Aram Mahmoud (M, Singles, Netherlands, Syria)

Boxing: Wessam Salamana (M, Light weight, Germany, Syria); Eldric Sella Rodriguez (M, Middle weight, Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela)

Canoe Sprint: Saeid Fazloula (M, Kayak Single K-1 1000m, Germany, Iran)

Cycling: Masomah Ali Zada (W, Time Trial, France, Afghanistan); Ahmad Badreddin Wais (M, Time Trial, Switzerland, Syria)

Judo: Sanda Aldass (W, Mixed team, Netherlands, Syria); Ahmad Alikaj (M, Mixed team IJF, Germany, Syria); Muna Dahouk (W, Mixed team IJF; Netherlands, Syria); Javad Mahjoub (M, Mixed team IJF; Canada, Iran); Popole Misenga (M, Mixed team, Brazil, DR Congo); Nigara Shaheen (W, Mixed team IJF, Russia, Afghanistan)

Karate (Kata): Wael Shueb (M, Kata, Germany, Syria)

Karate (Kumite): Hamoon Derafshipour (M, 67kg, Canada, Iran)

Shooting: Luna Solomon (W, 10m Air Rifle, Switzerland, Eritrea)

Taekwondo: Dina Pouryounes Langeroudi (W, 49kg, Netherlands, Iran); Kimia Alizadeh (W, 57kg, Germany, Iran); Abdullah Sediqi (M, 68kg, Belgium, Afghanistan)

Weightlifting: Cyrille Fagat Tchatchet (M, 96kg, UK, Cameroon)

Wrestling: Greco-Roman Aker Al Obaidi (M, 67kg, Austria, Iraq)

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