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Taekwondo-Iranian Alizadeh misses out on first Refugee team medal

Iranian Kimia Alizadeh came up just short in her bid to win a first medal for the Refugee Olympic Team on Sunday after defying the odds to beat two gold medal favourites in the women's taekwondo -57kg category.

7/25/2021 3:45:00 PM

Kimia Alizadeh's first three matches were all notable: the first, against erstwhile compatriot Nahid Kiyani Chandeh - coached by her previous instructor - and the second against double Oly mpic champion Jade Jones of Britain in the round of 16

Iranian Kimia Alizadeh came up just short in her bid to win a first medal for the Refugee Oly mpic Team on Sunday after defying the odds to beat two gold medal favourites in the women's taekwondo -57kg category.

Five years ago in Rio, Alizadeh became the only Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal when she took bronze. She fled to Germany last year, and is one of three taekwondo athletes competing for the refugee team at the Tokyo Games.The Refugee Olympic Team had 10 competitors in three sports on their first Games appearance in Rio. It has 29 athletes in 12 sports in Tokyo 2020.

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Alizadeh's first match was against former compatriot Nahid Kiyani Chandeh who is coached by her previous instructor.The 23-year-old was a clear favourite in the Makuhari Messe arena, entering to applause and cheers from members of the media and others in the venue at which no general public spectators were allowed.

Alizadeh, who said she left her homeland because she was fed up with being used as a propaganda tool, lost to Turkey's Hatice Kubra Ilgun in the bronze medal match.Alizadeh's defeat of Jones and her victory over Zhou were among many upsets on day two of the four-day taekwondo competition. Gold medal contenders in the men's -58kg category, South Korea's headtopics.com

Lee Dae-hoon and China's Zhao Shuai both lost a chance for the crown.Zhao beat Lee in the bronze medal match.The gold medal contests for the featherweight category will be between Tatiana Minina of the Russian Olympic Committee and the United States' Anastasija Zolotic for women and Uzbek Ulugbek Rashitov and Briton Bradly Sinden for men.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell, Pritha Sarkar and Ed OsmondOur Standards:More from ReutersSign up for our newsletterSubscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.

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