ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish athlete has qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after he secured a bronze medal at a recent Paralympic track and field meet in the United Arab Emirates.
Kovan Hassan, a Kurdish Paralympian, was greeted with warm handshakes and friendly kisses from friends and family upon his arrival at the Erbil International Airport on Friday.
Hassan was a member of Iraq’s Javelin team at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai, UAE, between Nov. 7 to 15.
The Kurdish athlete finished third in the Men’s Javelin Throw F41 on Nov. 12 and brought home with him a bronze medal, one of two bronze medals Iraq won at the track and field championship.
The javelin throw is a track and field event, where an athlete throws a spear called a “javelin.” The athletes are judged by the distance of their throw.
Hassan threw his javelin 42.24 meters, beating his previous record of 38.24 meters. He secured a third-place finish and also successfully qualified for the upcoming 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan.
“I am thankful for being able to break my previous record and bring home the bronze medal,” Hassan told Kurdistan 24 upon his arrival in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil.
He has now turned his focus on preparations for next summer’s Paralympic Games, which begin on Aug. 25, 2020.
The Kurdish athlete has competed in other Paralympic tournaments in the past. Hassan won gold at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil, and also took part in the London 2012 Paralympic Games.