Connect with us

Sports

‘Heartbreaking’: Afghan Paralympic athletes to miss Tokyo 2020 – Al Jazeera English

Published

 on


Zakia Khudadadi, stuck in Kabul, would have been the first woman to represent Afghanistan at a Paralympic Games at Tokyo.

Zakia Khudadadi would have been the first woman to represent Afghanistan at a Paralympic Games when they start in Tokyo this month, but her dream has been shattered amid the country’s turmoil.

Just two Paralympic athletes from Afghanistan were scheduled to compete in the Games set to commence on August 24 – taekwondo athlete Zakia Khudadadi and track athlete Hossain Rasouli.

Khudadadi, 23, was to be the first woman ever to represent Afghanistan at the Paralympics.

But the International Paralympics Committee confirmed on Monday that, with the Taliban takeover, the two athletes would no longer be able to travel to Japan.

“Regrettably, NPC (National Paralympic Committee) Afghanistan will no longer participate in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games,” IPC spokesman Craig Spence said.

“Due to the serious ongoing situation in the country, all airports are closed and there is no way for them to travel to Tokyo.”

There was no word on whether the IPC had been asked to try to assist team members, or was making efforts to do so.

US forces have taken over air traffic control at Kabul airport, where five died on Monday in chaotic scenes with reports of firing in the air and a stampede.

Taliban fighters have overrun major cities and now control most of Afghanistan. The group was overthrown in 2001, but has made sweeping military gains in recent months as foreign forces, led by the United States, withdrew.

The Afghanistan Paralympic Committee’s London-based Chef de Mission Arian Sadiqi told the Reuters news agency he had been due to fly to Japan on Monday while the team – Khudadadi and Rasouli – had been scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on August 17.

Taekwondo athlete Khudadadi was profiled on the Paralympic website last week talking about her hopes for the Games.

“I was thrilled after I received the news that I have got a wild card to compete at the Games,” said the 23-year-old from Herat.

“This is the first time that a female athlete will be representing Afghanistan at the Games and I’m so happy,” she had said then.

Sadiqi said the athletes had been trying to secure flights, but prices soared as the Taliban took over a string of cities.

Then it became impossible.

“They were really excited prior to the situation. They were training wherever they could, in the parks and back gardens,” he said.

Future for Afghan sport looks bleak

Afghan athletes first competed at the 1996 Paralympic Games but have never won a medal.

Rohullah Nikpai became Afghanistan’s first Olympic medallist in any sport when he won bronze in taekwondo at the 2008 Beijing Games, repeating the feat at London 2012.

Sadiqi said the future for Afghan athletes looked bleak, if the past was anything to go by.

“There was a lot of progress, both in the Olympics and the Paralympics,” he said of recent decades. “At the national level, there was a lot of participants, a lot of athletes … but we can only predict from what happened in the past.

“Previously during the Taliban era, people couldn’t compete, couldn’t participate, especially female athletes.

“For me, it’s heartbreaking,” he said. “This would have been the first female Afghan taekwondo player to take part. This was history in the making. She was excited to take part. She was very passionate to compete.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Canada takes on Slovakia as World Juniors continue on TSN – TSN

Published

 on


Team Canada has had its first taste of summer hockey at the World Junior Championship and will continue the quest for gold tonight against Slovakia.

Watch Canada vs. Slovakia at 6 p.m. ET on TSN4, TSN.ca and the TSN App. TSN’s coverage of Thursday’s games at the tournament begins at 2 p.m. ET with Finland facing Czechia.

Connor Bedard, a top prospect for the 2023 NHL draft, opened the scoring for Canada (1-0-0) and added an assist in a 5-2 win over Latvia (0-0-2) on Wednesday.

Sebastian Cossa got the start in net and made 22 saves for a Canadian squad quickly looking to build chemistry in Edmonton.

Canada’s head coach Dave Cameron said prior to the game he wanted to see “disciplined 200-foot hockey” and that the effort against Latvia was pretty much what he expected.

“It’s early, this is really only our second game, so you knew it was going to come in ebbs and flows,” said Cameron. “I like that we stuck with it and found a way to get that fifth goal which was huge and took a little bit of that pressure off towards the end of the game.” 

Canada has reached the podium in four of the past five tournaments, including gold medals in 2018 and 2020. Canada last won gold on home soil in 2015.

Cameron was quick to say that getting prepared to play hockey in August is not an issue.

“Not a chance, it’s what I do,” said Cameron. “I’ve done summer tournaments before … hockey’s hockey.

“It doesn’t matter the environment, the city, the number of people in the stands, anything like that. We’re hockey people and when that puck drops – game on.”

Slovakia (0-0-1), which features another top 2023 draft prospect in centre Dalibor Dvorsky, fell 5-4 to Czechia in their first match of the tournament on Tuesday. 

TSN’s Mark Masters reports that Dylan Garand is expected to start against Slovakia. 

Riley Kidney and Carson Lambos are projected to be scratches, while Brennan Othmann and Ethan Del Mastro will draw in for Canada. 

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Tom Brady Steps Aside From The Buccaneers: Details – HotNewHipHop

Published

 on


Tom Brady is one of the best players in the entire NFL, and this season, he is looking to win his eighth Super Bowl title. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking good right now, and there is a real sense that they will win the NFC South, once again.

Unfortunately, Brady has had to put a halt to his training camp efforts as he is dealing with a personal matter. According to Ian Rapaport, Brady was not at practice today due to the issue and it seems like he won’t be returning to the field until after the team’s upcoming preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, which is set to take place on August 20th.

Brady is one of the oldest quarterbacks in the history of the league, and it is nothing short of impressive that he is still performing at such a high level. Many pundits believe the Buccaneers are favorites to win it all, yet again, although they will have to prove themselves following a disappointing end to the season in 2022.

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for The Match

This is a developing story so stay tuned to HNHH for all of the latest news and updates. 

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Watch Live: Oilers pay tribute to Ben Stelter – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


Ben Stelter was an inspiration to many in the sports world and beyond.

Two months before his fifth birthday, Stelter was diagnosed with glioblastoma — a form of brain cancer. After meeting the Edmonton Oilers, he quickly became a motivation for the team during their run to the Western Conference Final.

Stelter died at the age six, his father had announced Wednesday.

The Oilers will speak publicly starting at around 12:30 p.m. ET, and their comments can be seen in their entirety on Sportsnet through the video player atop this page.

Note: This live stream has ended.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending