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IWF Refugee Team already training in Sweden

Led by coach Patric Bettembourg, the IWF Refugee Team is having, from June 23 to July 1, its first Training Camp in Halmstad (SWE), in order to prepare the participation in the 2023 IWF World Championships, taking place from September 4-17 in Riyadh (KSA). Of the seven members of the team, only four could make the trip to Sweden – among women, Parisa Jahanfekrian (originally from Iran), Aline de Souza and Monique Araujo (both Brazilian natives), and also male lifter Addriel Garcia (Cuba). The three remaining lifters of the group – Clementine Meukeugni Noumbissi (Cameroon, but living in Great Britain), Fawaz Mohammed Saleh Hussein (Yemen/Saudi Arabia), and Reza Rouhi (Iran/Great Britain) – could not, despite the best IWF efforts on this matter, join the training camp due to the difficulty in leaving their respective host country for the moment.


The four athletes present in Sweden are enjoying superb facilities in Halmstad – the headquarters of barbell company Eleiko – and have the opportunity to train twice a day, in a venue equipped with modern and high-level weightlifting material. On the first days of the training camp, they were also welcomed by Florian Sperl, IWF Executive Board member and responsible for this successful project.

“The atmosphere among the athletes and the coach is great. They all know each other by now and they are happy to share their respective stories and the difficult moments they could experience in life,” states Sperl, after his two-day visit to Halmstad. “The hospitality and the optimal conditions here in Sweden are really appreciated by the athletes. They have an ideal environment to train and prepare for the biggest IWF competition of the year. We hope by then that all the seven lifters of the team can travel to Saudi Arabia” concludes the IWF official.

The IWF President Mohammed Jalood also offered his comments on this training camp: “I am happy to see the practical implementation of the IWF Refugee Team programme. The training camp currently being held in Sweden is the first step in a pathway that will see this group of athletes competing in our major events. I thank all those involved in the development of the project and I wish the seven lifters the best success – from now on, the IWF is also their home!”