Refugee athletes from Kenya to compete at World Athletics Championships in London for the first time

“I see myself competing one day one time in a higher level. Right now I am participating with the champions and now this is my time I have to polish my talent and to show people in the world that a refugee can make it.”

Anjelina Nadai (left), a member of the Refugee Olympic Team in the 1500m, and Rose Nathike, also a member of the Refugee Olympic Team in the 800m, run during a training session in which the Refugee Team joined the Kenya Athletic Team practice in Nairobi, Kenya, on July 25, 2017. ; The Rio Olympics in 2016 represented the first time in Olympic history athletes were able to compete in the games as refugees. Today UNHCR continues to work with refugee athletes across the world to ensure they have the same opportunities as those with a country to represent.

Refugee athletes from Kenya are heading to London to compete in the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Athletics Championships on August 4th. It is the first time in the 34-year history of the competition that refugees will take part.

Ahmed Bashir Farah, Anjelina Lohalith, Dominic Lobalu, Rose Lokonyen and Kadar Omar, will be participating under the Athletes Refugee Team.

The athletes are thrilled at the opportunity to compete internationally after months of training in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

19 year-old Ahmed who fled violence in Somalia with his mother and two sisters when he was just 9 years old, and has been refugee in Nairobi ever since, will compete in the 800 metres.

“I feel great going to London. We only have a few days left. I want run my best time and qualify for the next stage. You know this is my first big international race so it’s normal, you have to feel a little nervous and scared but once I’m on the field, the fear will leave me.”

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