Bronze medalist Abdulrahman Al-Masatfa returns home to grand welcome

Abdulrahman Al-Masatfa receives a warm welcome at Queen Alia International Airport. (Photos: Yaman Alhelo/Jordan News)

AMMAN — Jordan’s Abdulrahman Al-Masatfa, the first Arab to win an Olympic medal in the karate competitions, received a grand welcome at Queen Alia International Airport Tuesday morning.اضافة اعلان

On August 8, the national karate player and medicine graduate donned his bronze medal as he carried the Jordanian flag at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. His coach Mohammad Ibrahim and teammate Aliya Boshnaq were at his side.

On that day, the Jordanian team concluded its historic participation in the Tokyo Olympics 2020, after having won two medals — Masatfa’s bronze and Saleh Al-Sharabti’s silver in taekwondo — in the same year for the first time in history.

“From the moment we landed in Tokyo, I was determined to prove to myself that I am able to win a medal, which is the highest honor that an athlete can seek,” Masatfa told Jordan News.

In Tokyo, athletes were not permitted to extend their stay or attend other events at the games, Masatfa said. They were tested regularly and required to show negative PCR tests before boarding their flights back to Jordan.
“Conditions were strict and stressful, but with determination and hard work we managed well. The absence of the crowds and fans took away some of the joy,” he said. “If it weren’t for COVID-19, both of my parents would have been there cheering for me.”

Commenting on the effect of COVID-19 on Jordan’s Olympians, the secretary general of the Olympic committee Nasser Majali said, “The pandemic is a double-edged sword … the players had to be separated from the outside world to focus a month before the games and COVID-19 did the dirty work for us.”

Preparing for the 2021 Karate World Championships is Masatfa’s next step. “I have a greater responsibility now that I have won an Olympic medal,” he said.

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