BAKU, Azerbaijan (Jun 1, 2023) - Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) refugee athlete Yehya Al Ghotani this morning lost out to his Mexican opponent Carlos Navarro in the men’s -63kg round of 64, however his participation in the Baku 2023 World Taekwondo Championships will be remembered for the impression he left on and off the mat.
Al Ghotani was one of 13 refugee athletes competing in Baku, but the only, and first ever, athlete to come from the Taekwondo Humanitarian Centre in the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan.
Al Ghotani fought valiantly in the match against Navarro, a former Pan American Champion. He showed great skill and determination to come back from an opening round loss of 12-0 to register 6 points in the second round. However, five Gam-jeoms saw the fight end prematurely.
Irrespective of his defeat, he showed that he is not out of place at this level of Taekwondo, despite his limited number of years of the sport and there is no doubt he will be back.
Off the mat, he helped to raise further awareness about the refugee crisis and the role Taekwondo is playing in supporting those who need it most. Read his interview here.