An Iranian defender competing in taekwondo for the refugee team at the Tokyo Olympics was drafted on Thursday to face an Iranian opponent in the qualifying round.
Kimiya Alizadeh, who left Iran citing institutional sexism, will take on Nahid Kiyani Chande in the 57kg category on Sunday.
Alizadeh was the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal, when she won a bronze medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games at the age of 18. She was later criticized for wearing the mandatory hijab headscarf, which she had to wear in Rio, and left Iran to live. Germany.
“I feel great about making a decision for my life that will definitely change my future,” she said in Germany last year.
Alizadeh was selected for the 29-athlete Refugee Olympic team last month.
The two-time World Championships medalist and 2014 Youth Olympic champion needed an invitation to join the 16 athletes who qualified for the 57kg featherweight category at the Tokyo Games.
The additional entry created an odd-numbered lineup, which required a qualifying round to advance to the main bracket. The draw pitted Alizadeh against an opponent from his former country.
The winner will advance to the Round of 16 at Makuhari Messe near Tokyo and will face defending champion Jade Jones of Britain in less than two hours.