Iranian refugee Saeid Fazloula has received a boost in his quest to qualify for a second Olympics in canoe sprint with his selection as one of 44 athletes awarded Olympic Scholarships for Refugee Athletes.

Fazloula made his Olympic debut in Tokyo last year, and will now have the benefit of the Olympic scholarship to help him prepare for Paris 2024.

The scholarships are fully funded by the IOC through its Olympic solidarity program, and offer athletes the support they need to train and compete in qualification tournaments in the build up to Paris 2024.

The IOC announced on Thursday 44 athletes from 12 countries and from 12 different Olympic sports will receive scholarship support.

"We welcome you to the Olympic community and wish you luck in qualification,” IOC President, Thomas Bach, said.

“I know what a difficult period it is to go through to qualify for the Olympic Games, and so we admire how you are meeting the challenge given all the difficulties you have overcome."

30-year-old Fazloula had hoped to make his Olympic debut as a refugee athlete in Rio in 2016, but after making it onto the shortlist, he did not make the final cut.

Fazloula became even more determined to achieve his goal. Just one year earlier he had arrived in Germany as a refugee from Iran. He had been a member of the Iranian canoe sprint team, winning medals at the Asian championships, and had continued competing in his adopted country.

Fazloula has previously expressed gratitude for the support of the German Canoe Association, his local canoeing club and the German Olympic Sports Confederation for helping his readjustment after he fled Iran.

Canoe Sprint
#ICFcanoesprint #canoesprint