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2 evacuated from Afghanistan arrived in Tokyo to participate in the Paralympic Games

Zakia Khuddadi will compete in the 44-49kg category of women’s taekwondo. Reuters

Tokyo:

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said today that two Paralympic athletes from Afghanistan have arrived in Tokyo and will take part in the Games.

“Afghan athletes Zakia Khudadadi and Hussein Rasouli were given a warm welcome at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Village,” the IPC said in a statement.

With Afghanistan rapidly falling into the hands of the Taliban, the pair had joined thousands of people who were stranded and unable to leave the country.

But he was rescued last weekend and was at a French sports ministry training center in Paris, the IPC said.

“Over the past 12 days, Zakia and Hussein have continued to express their absolute desire to come and compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” said IPC chief Andrew Parsons.

Earlier this week, the IPC said the two had safely left Afghanistan, but would not compete in the Games, as their focus was on their well-being.

At the opening ceremony on Tuesday, the Afghan flag raised by a volunteer was pictured symbolically.

“We always knew both athletes could participate in Tokyo 2020, which is why the Afghan flag was paraded at Tuesday’s opening ceremony,” Parsons said.

“Our number one priority is and will always be the health and well-being of both athletes.”

Zakia Khuddadi will compete in the 44-49kg category of women’s taekwondo, which is scheduled to take place on September 2.

The IPC said Hussain Rasouli will compete in the men’s 400m T-47 athletics event on September 3.

(This story has not been edited by NB staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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