Other Sports

Heartbroken over sister’s death

A Palestinian weightlifter wept as he belatedly learnt of his young sister’s tragic death from illness — a day after he competed in the Asian Games.

Hani al-Qassas’s family and team kept the news from him until after his appearance at the Games, the first international competition he had permission to attend.

His five-year-old sister, who had fallen into a coma, died in Gaza three days before he was due to take his turn in the 77kg class.

“They did not tell me until a day after my participation,” a tearful Qassas told AFP.

His coach Hossam Hamada, crying too, said he was the first to find out.

“The news had a big impact on me because I had a similar situation with my sister,” said Hamada, who also comes from Gaza, where medical facilities are generally poor.

“I tried to hide the news from Hani, as far as I could.”

But Qassas, 23, realised something was going on.

“Their behaviour with me was unnatural. I told them ‘What is happening? Tell me!’,” he said.

It was the first time that Qassas had left the Gaza Strip to take part in a championship.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 7:59:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/heartbroken-over-sisters-death/article24786596.ece

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