Iranian defector defeats Iranian in taekwondo at Tokyo Olympics

Iranian defector defeats Iranian in taekwondo at Tokyo Olympics By A Robin Rajkumar - July 26, 2021

Refugee Olympic Team's Kimia Alizadeh celebrates after winning her Women's -57KG Round of 16 match against Great Britain's Jade Jones at Makuhari Messe Hall at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan Sunday. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Kimia Alizadeh narrowly missed winning theĀ Refugee Olympic Team's first Games medal, in the bronze match ā€” hours after defeating a two-time Olympic gold medalist and also the favorite to win the 57-kilogram taekwondo division Sunday.

The big picture:Ā Alizadeh, Iran's Rio Games bronze medalist who defected to Germany last year, defeated Iranian friend Nahid Kiyani 18-9, then Great Britain's Jade Jones 16-12 and thenĀ contest favorite Zhou Lijun, of China, 9-8.

Jade Jones suffers shock defeat to Refugee athlete Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin in the round of 16 of the W-57kg and ends hopes of third Olympic gold medal #Taekwondo #Tokyo2020#WorldTaekwondo pic.twitter.com/v4u7rrvNOL

ā€” World Taekwondo (@WorldTaekwondo1) July 25, 2021
  • Alizadeh was seen hugging Kiani's coach after their match.
  • Her 10-3 semi-final loss to Russian Tatiana Minina set her up for a bronze medal match later in the evening. But she lost 6-8 to Turkey's Hatice Kubra Ilgun.

Flashback: Alizadeh criticized Iran's government in a 2020 Instagram post announcing her defection.

  • "They took me wherever they wanted. I wore whatever they said," she wrote in Farsi, per a translation by theĀ New York Times.
  • "Every sentence they ordered me to say, I repeated. Whenever they saw fit, they exploited me."
By A Robin Rajkumar - July 26, 2021

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