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Rio Olympics 2016: A fairytale from Chechen war to Rio boxing

The 21-year-old, nicknamed as "The Chechen Wolf".

Last Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 21:59
Rio Olympics 2016: A fairytale from Chechen war to Rio boxing

Boxer Arthur Biyarslanov escaped the death and destruction of war in Chechnya to represent his adopted homeland of Canada at the Rio Olympics on Thursday, a fairytale end to a traumatic journey.

The 21-year-old, nicknamed "The Chechen Wolf", had to dig deep on the way to a unanimous points victory over Jordan`s Obada Alkasbeh in his light welterweight Games debut.

He was left bruised and battered, and sustained a nasty wound to his right eye, and told AFP that he drew on the memories of his war-scarred childhood to drag him to an emotional victory.

"It`s a great feeling, I always wanted to come to the Olympics after the London 2012 Games and finally I`m here and I want to give it all and try to win the gold medal, it is one fight at a time," he said.

Biyarslanov has spent half his life in Canada, after as a four-year-old boy he and his family escaped from the Russian army to seek refuge in Azerbaijan, before immigrating to Canada at age nine.

He lost his father at a young age, growing up in a rough area of Toronto with his mother and brothers.

AFP
First Published: Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 21:59

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