Refugee athletes Luna Solomon and Mahdi have been selected to shoot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Both were chosen and trained by triple-Olympic gold medallist Niccolo Campriani since 2018, in collaboration with Abhinav Bindra.
Luna will represent the Refugee Olympic Team while Mahdi will represent Afghanistan.
“In sport, I have finally found peace. At the range, there is just me, my rifle and the target. In Tokyo, this will be no different, and I am ready to make my mark,” Luna said in a statement.
“I have dreamt of the Games every day since being selected for this project and it feels incredible for this dream to have now become reality,” said Mahdi.
“It has been an honour to coach Luna and Mahdi, and I am so proud of what they have achieved. They have both worked relentlessly for this opportunity and I can say with all my heart that they deserve it,” said Campriani.
“I have seen the power of sports to change lives first hand. I know it changed mine. I was really taken in by the story and more importantly by Campriani’s passion for the concept,” said Bindra.
The shooters had trained in Bengaluru at Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centre last year. During their week-long stint in India, the biomechanical assessment was done and they were given customised training plans.
“I am sure the journey of Luna and Mahdi will inspire former and current Olympians to take on such initiatives and uplift lives through the power of sports,” added Bindra.