Two Syrian athletes are participating in the World Karate Championships that began today in the Austrian city of Linz and will last until October 30. Over 130 countries are competing in the tournament.
Syrian refugees are represented by Muhannad al-Ali in the individual kata, for the 60 kg weight category, and his brother Muhammad Ali in the individual kata, for the 75 kg weight category.
Muhannad and Muhammad told the Coalition’s media office that they did not expect to participate in the tournament representing the refugees. They said they hoped to participate representing Syria instead.
They pointed out that the Assad regime killed many of their fellow athletes, including the award-winning Faris Masrawa and the international referee in karate Bashir Hawwa, adding that the regime transformed gyms and stadiums into prisons and detention centers where thousands of Syrians, including children, are now detained.
The participation of Muhammad and Muhannad in the tournament was arranged in cooperation with the Turkish Karate Federation, the World Karate Federation, and head of the Free Syrian Karate Federation Ahmed Ali. (Source: Syrian Coalition)