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From the battle field on to the mat; Sanda Aldass is an inspiration. A mother of three escaped war in Syria making her Olympic debut against all odds

11:28 PM Jul 26, 2021 | PTI

Tokyo: The 31-year-old is a mother of three, a Syrian civil war refugee, and now she's officially an Olympian too.

Aldass made her debut in the spiritual home of judo the Nippon Budokan, at Tokyo 2020 on Monday (26 July) to complete an epic journey since fleeing Syria for the Netherlands six years ago.

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Her maiden Olympic bout came against Serbian judoka Marica Perisic who's 10 years her junior and already an accomplished fighter.

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A European junior champion and two-time senior Grand Slam bronze-medallist, the 21-year-old has a big future and showed why against the IOC Refugee Olympic Team athlete.

Despite a valiant effort from Aldass, Peresic put her on the deck with 1:31 on the clock with a seoi-nage throw which she converted into a yoko-shiho-gatame hold for 10 seconds and victory by nippon.

Aldass' Olympic debut had come to an end, but merely stepping onto the mat to represent millions of refugees around the world was a triumph in itself.

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