Afghanistan’s athletes arrived in Tokyo late Saturday and were set to compete in the Paralympics next week as Day 5 of Games action began Sunday with a thrilling finish to the women’s triathlon.
Afghanistan’s Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli were evacuated last weekend to France from the Taliban-controlled country in a “major global operation”, the International Paralympic Committee said.
“Zakia and Hossain have continued to express their absolute desire to come and compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” the committee’s chief Andrew Parsons said in a statement.
They “are now in Tokyo to fulfil their dreams, sending out a strong message of hope to many others around the world”, he added.
Khudadadi is due to compete in the women’s taekwondo K44 -49kg category on September 2, and track athlete Rasouli is to run in the men’s 400m T47 the next day.
In an early start for the para-triathletes at Odaiba Marine Park Sunday, American Kendall Gretsch chased down Australia’s Lauren Parker on the final straight in the women’s PTWC race to snatch the gold medal by the slimmest of margins.