Hakizimana eyes Paralympics gold medal
Refugee’s Team Para Taekwondo star Parfait Hakizimana has said that he will be targeting gold medal when he represents the country at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Burundian Refugee Hakizimana, who considers taekwondo as a life-changing art and as a family of him, competes in the men’s under-61kg / K44 category.
In an interview, Hakizimana said that his ultimate goal in Tokyo is to win the gold medal in this year’s Paralympic Games, which are due August 25 to September 6 in the Japanese capital.
“I am having good preparations, so far I feel ready and am in good form to fight for our refugees Team pride in Tokyo. The ultimate goal is to win a gold medal,” he said.
Beyond the challenges of living in a refugee camp, where sustenance is primary and opportunities are severely limited, refugee athletes face the profound challenge of competing abroad, where host nations are wary of any potential claim for asylum.
The above mentioned challenges are the main causes that blocked Hakizimana’s Parfait to have participated in any other international-level tournament than the African championships held in Rwanda in 2017. This gives him some concerns on attaining his dream of competing in the Paralympic Games.
“To make my dreams come true, I have to participate in any International Competition before this upcoming Tokyo Paralympic games”, he explained. “I want to build a better life for myself and my family.”
The only chances remained for Hakizimana are 6th Asian Para Taekwondo Open Championships to be held in Beirut, Lebanon on April 20, 2021 and Africa Para Taekwondo Championships which will take place in Niamey, Niger on May 29-30.
Hakizimana took part in Para taekwondo’s 2017 African championships, where he won his first fight, before falling to the No. 1 seed in a close quarterfinal loss (18-12).
He won the Great Lakes Regional -level Ambassador’s Cup the following year, being named the tournament’s top athlete.