Akram Bounabi is a rising star of Algerian fencing whose life has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic.
The young Olympian hopeful lost his father and three grandparents to COVID-19 in the space of just two months.
In just a few days’ time, Bounabi will represent his country in the sabre fencing competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, which were postponed last year due to the pandemic.
“Certainly my ambition in this (sabre fencing) competition is to win a medal at the Olympic Games. It could possibly happen in Tokyo and it could also possibly happen in Paris 2024, which will take place in three years’ time. But if I fail to win a medal this year, then at least it will serve as important preparation for the next Olympics,” sid Bounabi.
The 21-year-old has been crowned national champion on several occasions and has performed well at the Fencing World Cup.
Bounabi will be accompanied by two female fencers Kaouther Mohamed Belkebir and Meriem Mebarki, and another male fencer Salim Heroui to Tokyo.
The Olympic Games take place from 23rd July to 8th August.