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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Afghanistan's Hossain Rasouli competes in Tokyo Paralympics after being evacuated from his country

Afghan para athlete Hossain Rasouli, who was evacuated from Afghanistan in an emergency operation last week, took part in the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Tuesday.

Afghan para athlete Hossain Rasouli
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Hossain Rasouli (Source- Reuters)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2021-09-01T11:13:09+05:30

Afghan para athlete Hossain Rasouli, who was evacuated from Afghanistan in an emergency operation last week, took part in the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old sprinter competed in the T47 long jump. Though he finished in last place, he recorded a personal best distance of 4.46m and was flooded with applauds of competing athletes.
Rasouli reached Tokyo only on Saturday with his teammate Zakia Khudadadi, who will compete in the taekwondo competition later this week, after being smuggled out of Kabul in dramatic circumstances.
They fled Afghanistan after the Taliban insurgence. Through an international operation that included efforts on the part of ParalympicsGB, Rasouli and Khudadadi were able to enter Kabul airport with the assistance of the Australian military, which had a presence there.


The founder of Human Rights for All, Alison Battisson was personally involved in the process of helping the athletes out, described her experience in an interview with the New York Times.
The athletes were taken to the airport remotely using shared GPS devices, and that they were asked to use bright scarves so that they are identified by the military forces once inside the airport. They were asked to hide their papers and money in a bright scarf in inner wears.
Khudadadi and Rasouli flew first to Dubai first and then on to Paris, where they spent several days at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance. On Saturday, they came to Tokyo where the International Paralympic Committee welcomed them.
Rasouli had his left hand amputated after he was wounded in a landmine explosion. He wanted to compete in the 100m but arrived too late for the competition.
He then agreed to compete in the long jump and practised for just 90 minutes on Monday night before entering the highly competitive T47 category alongside athletes from the US, China and representatives of the Russian Paralympic Committee.
The gold medal was won by Robiel Yankiel Sol Cervantes of Cuba, who jumped 7.46m, exactly three metres further than Rasouli.
Khudadadi will enter the competition on Thursday. The taekwondo practitioner is set to compete in the women's K44 -49kg category.


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