Afghanistan’s para-athlete Hossain Rasouli on Tuesday took part in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics after the sprinter was evacuated from his country in an emergency operation last week. The 26- year old sprinter wanted to compete in 100m but as he arrived late, he competed in the T47 long jump. Though he finished last with a personal best of 4.46m, Rasouli received applauses from the competing athletes. Rasouli and her compatriot Zakia Khudadadi, who will take part in the taekwondo on Thursday, were evacuated from Kabul in dramatic circumstances.
Rasouli and Khudadadi were evacuated in an emergency operation
Hossain Rasouli and Zakia Khudadadi were able to compete in the Paralympics through an emergency operation last week. In the international operation that comprised efforts of ParalympicsGB, both the athletes were able to enter the Kabul airport due to the assistance of the Australian military, which had a presence there. Founder of Human Rights for All, Alison Battisson was personally involved in the process of evacuation. She described her experience in the New York Times.
She told that the athletes were taken to the Airport remotely using a shared GPS device and were asked to bring bright scarves so that they are identified by the troops once inside. The athletes were also advised to hide their papers and money in a bright scarf in their inner wears, “and when you pass through Taliban checkpoints, bring out your scarf and wave it like crazy,” Battison said. They got attention and were able to board the plane. She also stated that she was very happy to hear the athletes made it to Tokyo as she had no idea where on Earth they were.
The Afghan Para athletes reached Tokyo on Saturday
Both the Afghan athletes reached Tokyo only on Saturday as they first flew to Dubai and then they went to Paris, where they lived several days at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance. They were welcomed by the International Paralympic Committee in Tokyo on Saturday.
Rasouli, who had his left hand amputated after being wounded in a landmine explosion, could practice for the long jump on Monday night for only 90 minutes and entered the competitive T47 category. Robiel Yankiel Sol Cervantes of Cuba won the Gold medal with a jump of 7.46m.
Khudadadi will play in taekwondo tomorrow. If she makes the weight, Khudadadi will compete in the women’s K44- 49kg category.