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Iraqi lifter dedicates medal to war-torn homeland

Written by: Staff
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Doha, Dec 5 (UNI) Nothing can really make up for the loss that a war-torn Iraq has suffered in its recent past but weightlifter Harem Ali, Iraq's first medallist at Doha, would like to believe that his Bronze medal would bring smile back on a few faces back home.

''This is a gift I offer to all the Iraqi people, from north to south,'' said Iraq's first medallist at the 15th Asian Games.

''I hope the medal to wipe out tears of the Iraqi people and make them smile after a lot of suffering,'' said Ali's emotionally overwhelmed coach Kadir Basha.

It was all the more special for Ali who beat the odds and trained in difficult circumstances before arriving here.

''War made life difficult for us, especially because our practice facilities were in Baghdad. Eventually, we had to train in southern Iraq which is relatively safer,'' Basha informed.

A Kurd by birth, Ali hopes his medal would have a unifying effect on the people of Iraq.

''Above any thing, I am an Iraqi and I am very glad to participate in the Games. I would like to send a message to all the Iraqi people that I am part of Iraq even though I am from Kurdistan.

I wanted to make my people happy and I hope my medal would do that,'' he said.

Ali won the medal in men's 77kg class and the Iraqi lifter admitted he was spellbound by the grand opening ceremony and thanked the fans who cheered for him.

UNI HSB AY PDS HS1712

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