Given the numerous hardships that Abdoulie Asim has endured earlier than and after looking for asylum in 2018, being denied the gold medal within the 200m on the Australian championships ranks method down the checklist.
A transformed Christian, Asim represented Gambia on the Gold Coast Commonwealth Video games after which refused to return house, claiming refugee standing as a consequence of feared spiritual persecution from Muslim members of the family.
He made his technique to Sydney and lived below a bridge in Parramatta for a number of days earlier than transferring right into a hostel for homeless males, the place he stayed for a yr.
The turning level got here when he linked up with vastly revered coach John Quinn, whose squad contains nationwide 400m champion Bendere Oboya.
Asim was overjoyed at crossing the road first in 20.78 seconds within the males’s 200m on Sunday, solely to later be disqualified for operating out of his lane, gifting the nationwide title to runner-up Alex Beck, who accomplished the 200m-400m double.
Asim’s dream is to characterize his adopted homeland of Australia on the Olympics.
However as he but to safe a passport, the 28-year-old’s solely practical likelihood of competing in Tokyo is seemingly as a member of the Refugee Olympic Crew.
Asim, who goes by the nickname of Busta, stated it was nonetheless too harmful for him to return house, though he stays in touch along with his mom.
“She is crucial factor for me on this world; so long as I’m completely satisfied she is completely satisfied,” he stated.
“I don’t discuss to anybody aside from my mum. Even speaking to my mum generally is tough, so she goes outdoors and I discuss to her by means of my buddies.
“I’m working now in a warehouse and I practice too.
“Typically you do what you do to outlive.”
Quinn paid tribute to what Asim has been capable of obtain on and off the observe in his adopted house.
“He has been in my squad now for over two years and he’s only a improbable particular person to teach,” stated Quinn.
“He’s very robust in spirit and humble and he will make an amazing coach himself in the future.
“We’ve been engaged on his pace and energy and I feel he’s transferring into a brand new degree of an athlete – proper now he’s nonetheless a refugee looking for asylum.”
Such is Asim’s generosity, that regardless of his tough private circumstances he insisted on sharing the $12,500 prize cash from successful the Burnie Reward earlier this yr along with his coaching companions.
“I went over to Busta and stated ‘you’ll be able to’t give away your cash like this’,” stated Quinn.
And he replied ‘hey coach, you’ll be able to’t inform me what to do, we’re all on this collectively. That is what athletics is – you assist me, I assist you to’.
“So I’ve learnt a really beneficial lesson from my athlete.”