South Sudan to Japan – and Tokyo to the Olympics

Mabashi, Japan (AP) – Four South Sudanese athletes are already training in Japan for the Tokyo Olympics and Para Olympics this year. They are trying to get a head start but, nevertheless, they are unlikely to win any medals.

Like most of the 4.7 athletes who came to Tokyo for the Olympics and thousands more at the Paralympics, they can speak Japanese.

“It’s the only language I like,” said Abraham Majok, who along with three other South Sudanese athletes and coaches arrived in Japan in November. “And that’s great and since we started learning it. It’s not so difficult, not even so easy. However, you know, we’re getting on well with it and we just love it. “

They are training about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Tokyo in the town of Maibasi, mainly supported by grants from the Japanese people.

Mazok has been training and thinking about his country, which gained independence from Sudan in the 21st but has fallen into civil war two years later. The conflict has killed an estimated 6,000 people and forced millions out of their homes.

“As you know that for every battle you go to, you always go in search of success and you don’t go in search of failure,” Majok said. “I’ve been dreaming of coming to the Olympics and competing and achieving something good for myself and our country.”

Miyashi City Officer Kazuhiko personally saw four trains in Cuba. But the real thrill will come in about 5/2 months when the Olympics open.

“I think more important than their record is that they will be seen riding the track (Tokyo Olympics) with the national flag of South Sudan on their uniforms,” ​​said Kubbara. “We want to work with the people of Mayawashi to support them in achieving this.”

Akun Akun, a 400 meter hurdler, mentioned the distinct benefit of training in Mayabashi. The city has a track.

“Before going to the Olympics, I was able to train here in Mayabashi with a coach and track,” he paused. “Because (South Sudan), we don’t have the track.”

South Sudan coach Joseph Omirok wants to return home after the Olympics and Paralympics, and plans to take some Japanese people back with him.

“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I’m not just playing. I’m learning a lot; Language, how are Japanese people. Really good people.

News Reporter

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