The Latest: Congolese judoka looking to land on podium

AP News
Posted: Jun 03, 2016 3:46 PM
The Latest: Congolese judoka looking to land on podium

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Latest on IOC executive board meetings (all times local):

9:40 p.m.

Yolande Mabika, a Congolese refugee and judoka, says she was "shaking" when she received word she'd made the Olympics.

"I am very happy now, I cannot find the words right now," said Mabika, who trains in Brazil. She was picked by the IOC for a special refugee team along with fellow Congolese judoka Popole Misenga.

Mabika has only one goal — a medal.

"Every fighter, every athlete, if they are training, no one trains to lose," she said. "I am training to get up there on the podium. I am training to get there not to lose. I didn't start training judo only in Brazil (she began as a child back in Congo). I will make it."


5:20 p.m.

A Syrian refugee who last year was forced to swim for her life trying to reach Greece says she's overjoyed to be picked to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Yusra Mardini was among 10 athletes named on Friday by the International Olympic Committee for a refugee team at the games.

The 18-year-old Mardini said she was at home when the news arrived.

"I can't describe how happy I am," she told The Associated Press by phone from Berlin shortly after the announcement. "I almost cried."

Mardini said she's trying to stay realistic about her medal chances in Rio, and aiming for a personal best.

"But I hope more for Tokyo (in 2020)," she said.

Mardini and her older sister Sarah arrived in Germany as refugees a year ago after a journey that included swimming alongside their boat partway from Turkey to Greece because it was taking on water.


2:50 p.m.

A South Africa film producer, Colombia's former ambassador to the U.S. and the female founder of an Indian charitable foundation are in line to join the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC executive board nominated four male and four female members on Friday. Formal ratification will come at the full IOC session in Rio de Janeiro in August on the eve of the games.

The nominees include:

— South Africa's Anant Singh, who produced the 2013 film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" about former South African President Nelson Mandela.

— Luis Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank who served as Colombia's ambassador to the U.S. from 1998 to 2005.

— Nita Ambani, founder and chair of the India-based Reliance Foundation.

The others are Sari Essayah of Finland, a former Olympic race walker who chairs the Finnish Christian Democratic Party; Ivo Ferriani of Italy, president of International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation; Auvita Rapilla, secretary general of the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee; Tricia Smith, president of the Canadian Olympic Committee; and Austrian Olympic Committee chief Karl Stoss.

The addition of eight new members would bring the total number of IOC members to 99.

Notable were two names not on the list: IAAF President Sebastian Coe and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Coe was elected last August, and Infantino in February. While they head two of the world's biggest sports, their federations have been hit by corruption scandals, and Olympic officials said it was too early to bring them onto the IOC.


2:30 p.m.

The IOC has selected a 10-member team of refugee athletes to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

IOC President Thomas Bach says the team consists of five athletes from South Sudan, two from Syria, two from Congo and one from Ethiopia.

The athletes are from track and field, swimming and judo.

They will compete under the Olympic flag and march together in the opening ceremony on Aug. 5.