This weekend, an Iranian defector will compete in a taekwondo bout. At 10 a.m. on Sunday, Japanese time, Kimia Alizadeh, a member of the Refugee Olympic squad for the Tokyo Olympic Games, will face N. Kiyani Chandeh, representing Iran, in a 57kg qualification match.
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, at the young age of 18, Alizadeh made history by becoming the first female medalist for Iran. She won bronze in the same category. In Iran, she was celebrated as a national hero and given the nickname “the Tsunami.”
N. Kiyani Chandeh Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
In January of 2020, the young athlete posted on Instagram that she had defected.
“N. Kiyani Chandeh added, “In your patriarchal and misogynist minds, you always imagined Kimia was a woman and had no language! I am one of the millions of subjugated women in Iran who they have been playing with for years.” My disturbed spirit does not belong in your stale commercial pipelines or insular political caucuses.
Taekwondo, safety, and a long and healthy life are all I ask for in this world. I didn’t want my success to be built on a foundation of shadiness and deceit… I’m willing to put up with being homeless because I refuse to dine with hypocrisy, falsehoods, injustice, and flattery.”
In her first fight in Tokyo, Alizadeh won an 18-9 decision over N. Kiyani Chandeh of Iran. Next, she stunned two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones in the round of 16, defeating the British champion by a score of 16-12.
In the quarterfinals, she overcame Chinese opponent Zhou Lijun 9-8 by staging another dramatic comeback in the final minute.
Despite Alizadeh’s winning streak, the Refugee Olympic Team was unable to bring home a medal from the Tokyo Games when she lost against Turkey’s Hatice Kubra Ilgun in the bronze medal match.
A day after defeating Iran’s N. Kiyani Chandeh in her opening match in Tokyo, the 23-year-old Alizadeh upset two-time Olympic gold medallist Jade Jones by a score of 16-12 in the round of 16. Thanks for reading N. Kiyani Chandeh Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.