Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli, who had been evacuated from Afghanistan final weekend to France, have arrived in Tokyo, says IPC.
Two athletes from Afghanistan have arrived in Tokyo to compete within the Paralympics, the Worldwide Paralympic Committee (IPC) mentioned on Saturday.
Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli had been evacuated final weekend to France from the Taliban-controlled nation in a “main world operation”, the IPC mentioned.
“Zakia and Hossain have continued to specific their absolute need to come back and compete on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Video games,” the committee’s chief, Andrew Parsons, mentioned in an announcement.
“[They] at the moment are in Tokyo to fulfil their goals, sending out a powerful message of hope to many others world wide,” he added
The pair arrived at Tokyo’s Paralympic Village on Saturday night, having spent every week in Paris at a French sports activities ministry coaching centre, in line with the IPC.
Khudadadi will compete within the ladies’s taekwondo K44-49kg class on September 2, and Rasouli will run within the males’s 400 metres T47 athletics occasion the subsequent day, it mentioned.
The shock announcement got here after Afghanistan’s swift fall to the Taliban earlier this month left the 2 athletes among the many tens of hundreds trapped and unable to depart the nation.
At Tuesday’s opening ceremony, the Afghan flag featured in a symbolic trend, carried by a volunteer.
The IPC mentioned on Wednesday Khudadadi and Rasouli had safely left Afghanistan however wouldn’t be competing on the video games, as the main focus was on their wellbeing.
“We at all times knew there was a distant probability each athletes might take part at Tokyo 2020 which is why the Afghan flag was paraded at Tuesday’s Opening Ceremony,” Parsons mentioned on Saturday.
“Our primary precedence has and at all times would be the well being and wellbeing of each athletes,” he added.
Studying that the pair couldn’t journey to Tokyo as deliberate “broke the hearts of all concerned within the Paralympic Motion and left each athletes devastated”, Parsons mentioned.
“That announcement kickstarted a serious world operation that led to their secure evacuation from Afghanistan, their recuperation by France, and now their secure arrival in Tokyo,” Parsons added.
Chelsey Gotell, the IPC Athletes’ Council chairperson, welcomed them in an announcement supplied by the IPC.
“On behalf of their fellow 4,403 Paralympic athletes competing on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Video games,” she mentioned, “I welcome Zakia and Hossain to the Paralympic Village. That is their house for the subsequent 9 days and as a neighborhood we’re 100% behind them.”
The Tokyo Paralympics are happening beneath strict coronavirus guidelines and largely behind closed doorways, after a yr’s delay due to the pandemic.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban has promised a extra reasonable model of rule in contrast with its first stint in energy from 1996 to 2001.
However many Afghans concern a repeat of their brutal interpretation of Islamic regulation.