Afghan athletes arrive in Tokyo
Two athletes from Afghanistan have finally made it: Taekwondo fighter Zakia Khudadadi and her compatriot Hussein Rasouli were given a warm welcome in Tokyo on Saturday evening (local time), announced the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). IPC President Andrew Parsons was also present there.
Khuddadi competes in the taekwondo category from 44 to 49kg next Thursday, while her compatriot Rasoli competes in the preliminary over 400m on Friday. According to the IPC, two Afghan para-athletes were earlier brought to Paris from their homeland. There he was given psychological support.
“Our number one priority has always been and will always be the health and well-being of both athletes,” Parsons assured. Afghan athletes have repeatedly reaffirmed their “absolute desire” to take part in the Paralympics in Tokyo.
A day before the start of the Games, the IPC announced that there would be no Afghan athletes in Japan due to the Taliban takeover. Afghanistan’s flag was carried into the stadium by a volunteer at the opening ceremony last Tuesday “as a sign of solidarity”. (dpa)
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