Bruce Lee DVDs, a backyard dojo and Asif Sultani’s road to Tokyo Olympics | Mike Hytner

Bruce Lee DVDs, a backyard dojo and Asif Sultani’s road to Tokyo Olympics | Mike Hytner

The Guardian

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War, asylum and near death at sea have shaped a karateka’s journey from Afghanistan to Australia and now the Olympics

Pitch black waves crash against the small, overcrowded boat carrying a group of asylum seekers. The fumes given off by the vessel’s engine hang uncomfortably in the air alongside a bitter odour of terrified, desperate vomit. But the most pungent smell is that of fear. Then, the boat breaks down.

“I honestly thought then that might be the end of my journey. That’s where I might die,” says Asif Sultani, an Afghanistan-born refugee whose fate mercifully was not sealed that day in the murky waters off Indonesia, and whose journey may yet take him to Japan, where he hopes to represent the Refugee Olympic Team at this year’s Games in Tokyo.

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