Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: A medal for your dreams


The biggest challenge Hend Zaza from Syria faced and overcome was training and qualifying for the Olympics.


Upala Sen

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Posted 01.08.21, 00:16 AM


Mary Kom’s loss in Tokyo last week was heartbreaking for many in India, and maybe for good reason. But not all defeats are overcome. Hend Zaza of Syria lost in the table tennis preliminaries to Austrian-Chinese-born Liu Jia. Zaza is 12 years old against 39 for Jia. But the biggest challenge Zaza faced and overcome was training and qualifying for the Olympics, belonging as she does to a war-torn country. The town of Hama, where she is from, is known for the Islamic uprising of the 1980s and the massacres that followed. There was also the siege of Hama in 2011 which resulted in the death of a number of civilians at the hands of the security forces. Inadequate training conditions, motley infrastructure, inability to participate in international competitions for visa issues, deferral of funding were some of the other things Zaza faced. She said after losing: “Fight for your dreams, do your best …”

Card pointing

Not many people would be able to find Benin on a map, but here it is, a fist-shaped republic in West Africa. Privel Hinkati became the first rower to represent Benin at the Tokyo Olympics. Hinkati lost last week, but remained the winner. In Benin, football and basketball are popular sports, but it is thanks to the efforts of Hinkati that the country created a rowing federation in 2012. Crowdfunding paid for his training and training. equipment, but he still failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016. That’s what he said about when he qualified for the Olympics in 2020: “J continued to row past the finish line. I continued to row towards the second and third rings. I didn’t want to take any chances. I just wanted to be sure. It wasn’t until the announcer said, “Everyone has to stop now” that I stopped. “

No one is a champion

Cyclist Masomah Ali Zada ​​finished 25th out of 25 athletes in the women’s individual time trial at the Olympics, but you wouldn’t know from her demeanor. Ali Zada, who is part of the Olympic refugee contingent, and his sister faced severe disapproval and even death threats in their home country of Afghanistan when they started cycling. In 2017, the family found asylum in France, where the sisters continued to train. After her loss, she said: “I am already a winner against people who think women are not allowed to cycle.” Back in India, it looks like Mary Kom hasn’t ruled out participating in the Paris 2024 Olympics, if the rules allow.


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