Famous marathon runner Tegla Lorupe is the leader of refugee team at the Games
Composition of refugee team that would participate in athletics at the sport arena of Ashgabat 2017 Games was defined.
According to the Executive Committee for preparation of V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the refugee team will be headed by Tegla Lorupe – the legend of marathon distance from Kenya.
Composition of the team for participation in Ashgabat 2017 Games was formed after qualifying competitions organized under the Peace Fund aegis, which was founded by Tegla Lorupe in Nairobi.
All members of the team are happy to represent one of 65 delegations participating in the largest Central Asian International competitions. Two of the team – Lokoro and Biel, participated in Rio 2016 Olympic Games but for three athletes, these Games are the first attempt at international level.
Lorupe, being a representative of the Sport and the World UN Project, makes large contribution to search for opportunities for the refugees to participate in international competitions. For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the team of the athletes, who left their homeland due to emergency circumstances, participated in the competitions held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and ever since, the refugee team was competing in Cyprus, Bahamas, Uganda and Rwanda. Last month, its sportsmen took part in the Athletics World Championship in London.
Lorupe, the marathon World record holder in 1998 – 2001, is proud that she would lead the team, whose members have no homeland. The head of the team said very sensitive words in this regard: “Some of our sportsmen are novices and now they have an opportunity they have been dreaming all life long. They want to demonstrate their capabilities in the world arena. The refugee team is a humankind team, universe team supported by the whole world”.
At present moment, after several months of intensified training near the capital of Kenya, the sportsmen of the refugee team are in the best sport conditions and ready for competitions.
Lorupe, the legend of her country, is popular among the world athletic communities by her unbelievable achievements in long distance run. She was triple world champion in semi-marathon and represented Kenya three times in the Olympics.
She is still a holder of the world record in 20, 25 and 30 km races and she also was the first African woman who won the marathon in New York twice. Today, she is the world representative for the matters of supporting of peace, women rights and education.
“I hope to meet young sportsmen in Ashgabat and talk to local women on the opportunities and advantages of doing sports. The delegation of the refugee team expresses the gratitude to the Government of Turkmenistan for special invitation” – Tegla Lorupe highlighted.
On September 17, when the team will enter the Olympic Stadium of Ashgabat, the anthem of the Asian Olympic Council will be played as an anthem of refugee team and they will compete under the flag of the Asian Olympic Council.