Loroupe to lead 29 strong Refugee Olympic Team to Tokyo

Loroupe to lead 29 strong Refugee Olympic Team to Tokyo

Loroupe said, "The athletes represent not only themselves, not only the IOC, but also all refugees in the world.Let's bring solidarity, as we are solidarity people.Our universal language is sport, let's go and bring joy."

Tegla Loroupe

Former world marathon record holder and Kenyan athletics legend Tegla Loroupe will again lead the Refugee Olympic Team to the Tokyo Olympic Games as the Chef de Mission. Loroupe, who also led the team to the 2016 Games in Rio will again be assisted by Deputy Chef de Mission Stephen Pattison from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.

Loroupe said, "The athletes represent not only themselves, not only the IOC, but also all refugees in the world.Let's bring solidarity, as we are solidarity people.Our universal language is sport, let's go and bring joy."

The 29 strong team was unveiled by the IOC on Tuesday 8 June consists of athletes from 13 host National Olympic Committees, includes six which competed on the first Olympic Refugee Team at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

These are swimmer Yusra Mardini, judoka Popole Misenga, and track and field athletes Anjelina Nadai Lohalith, James Nyang Chiengjiek, Paulo Amotun Lokoro and Rose Nathike Lokonyen.

Alaa Maso is also set to compete in swimming, while Misenga is one of six judoka selected for the team by the IOC, joining Sanda Aldass, Ahmad Alikaj, Muna Dahouk, Javad Mahjoub and Nigara Shaheen.

Dorian Keletela, Jamal Abdelmaji Eisa Mohammed and Tachlowini Gabriyesos have been chosen as the other track and field athletes.

Badminton player Aram Mahmoud, boxers Wessam Salamana and Eldric Sella Rodriguez, canoeist Saeid Fazloula and cyclists Masomah Ali Zada and Ahmad Badreddin Wais have also been picked for the team.

They have been selected alongside karateka Wael Shueb and Hamoon Derafshipour, shooter Luna Solomon, taekwondo players Dina Pouryounes Langeroudi, Kimia Alizadeh and Abdullah Sediqi, weightlifter Cyrille Fagat Tchatchet and Greco-Roman wrestler Aker Al Obaidi.

Alizadeh won a bronze medal at Rio 2016 aged 18, representing Iran, but fled the country last year.

The team is nearly three times the size of the 10-strong refugee team at Rio 2016, and includes 10 men and nine women.

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