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Refugee, woman, postwoman, Olympic participation!

An Iranian refugee living in Belgium, where she works as a postwoman, has won a place in the taekwondo competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Raheleh Asemani, 26, was one of 16 athletes who won Olympic slots at the European qualification tournament in Istanbul the weekend January 16-17.

In taewkondo, as with many sports, athletes win Olympic quota places for their nations, who then decide if to use the slot and which athletes to send. However, the case of Asemani is different. She is a resident of Belgium but does not have Belgian nationality. While she hopes to get a Belgian passport and thus compete for the European nation, she is currently competing as an independent athlete. If she does not become a Belgian national before the Rio 2016 Games, it seems likely that Asemani will compete under the International Olympic Committee flag as an independent athlete.

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