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Paralympics: Afghan turmoil shattering dream of trapped athletes is ‘heartbreaking,’ says IPC chief

“There are not any business flights. We all have seen the pictures from the airport in Kabul. It grew to become clear to us proper from the start that there will probably be no protected strategy to attempt to convey these athletes to Tokyo,” IPC President Andrew Parsons told Reuters in an interview.

Amid the nation’s ongoing turmoil, the Afghanistan Paralympic Committee mentioned on Monday that two Afghan athletes wouldn’t have the ability to attend the Games that start on Aug. 24.

Taekwondo athlete Zakia Khudadadi and monitor athlete Hossain Rasouli had been scheduled to reach in Tokyo on Aug. 17.

In a video message, Khudadadi right here made a plea for assistance on Tuesday as she sought to flee Kabul and revive her shattered dream of turning into the nation’s first feminine competitor on the Paralympic Games.

“I noticed the video message. By seeing what’s taking place in Afghanistan and this is shattering the desires of one of our athletes, it is actually unhappy and it actually breaks my coronary heart,” Parsons mentioned.

Parsons added that the committee would work with the Afghan staff to assist her pursuing her dream once more, together with presumably competing on the Games in Paris in 2024.

But now is “too quickly” to debate plans, he mentioned.

“It’s one thing that goes manner, manner, manner, manner larger than sports activities. And we’re first involved in Afghanistan as a nation and with the human beings, particularly the feminine of that nation. I believe first, the nation must outline its personal future.”

Like the Olympics that ended earlier this month, the Tokyo Paralympics will happen typically with out spectators, organizers have mentioned, as Japan has prolonged COVID-19 emergency measures within the capital and different areas that can run by way of the Games.

The host metropolis Tokyo introduced 4,377 new coronavirus circumstances on Tuesday, after a file 5,773 on Friday.

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