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    Under-resourced Afghan sportspeople show promise

    KABUL (PAN): Some sportspeople, who grabbed top positions and medals in Asian and other world championships, say they have accomplished a lot for Afghanistan with fewer resources.

    National Ashihara Karate, Kung Fu and boxing squads fared well in three international contests, winning 32 medals over the past month.

    The Afghan National Ashihara Karate team finished runners-up, clinching six medals in the 10 nations Euro-Asian Karate Championship held in the Antalya city of Turkey from November 11-13.

    Afghan Kung Fu athletes secured third position, winning six medals in the first-ever international tournament, featuring players from 44 countries, in the Shiraz City of neighbouring Iran.

    The national boxing team finished third by grabbing 20 medals in a contest held in the Antalya city of Turkey. Athletes from 18 countries participated in the event.

    Linking their achievements to a sense of patriotism, Wahid Ahmad Joya, a gold medalist, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had to make do with the little resources available to them. They still managed to do well, thanks to their love of Afghanistan.

    He said:"The facilities the players of other countries enjoy are far more than ours. We are leading our life in a complete disillusion." Afghan sportsmen lacked proper meals, equipment, massage centres, exercise areas and professional coaches, he remarked.

    Mohammad Zahir Aghbar, head of the National Olympic Committee, confirmed the lack of resources. "During my trip to the US, I learned how to lead Afghanistan to self-sufficiency in the field of sports, using the practices they have learnt from American sports managers."

    Aghbar hoped if the government agreed with the programmes and experiences they brought from America, Afghanistan would attain self-sufficiency.

    Afghanistan's women shuttlers finished second in the South Asian Games held in Tajikistan. They won 51 medals over the first two months in the international events in South Korea, Denmark, Ukraine, India, Croatia, Pakistan, Iran and China.

    The achievements included 13 gold, 14 silver and 34 bronze medals in taekwondo, snooker, kick-boxing, martial arts, judo, mao-tai and cycling.

    mbg/mud