Afghan refugee pursues his dream of Olympic boxing

Sport

Afghan refugee pursues his dream of Olympic boxing

Now living in Portugal, he is attempting to achieve in 10 months what normally takes years of preparation

Victoria Waldersee

A young Afghan refugee living in Portugal is attempting to achieve in 10 months what normally takes years of preparation – qualifying to box in the Olympics.

But 22-year-old Farid Walizadeh, who faces his first international qualification challenge in March ahead of the Tokyo 2020 games, is no stranger to uphill struggles.

At the age of seven, he fled his hometown in northeastern Afghanistan, travelling more than 2,500km, mostly on foot, to Turkey. There he was arrested on arrival after smugglers he had met on the way loaded him up with a backpack they said contained sugar but was in fact filled with drugs...

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