(Photo: @Tokyo2020/Twitter)

The Afghanistan Paralympic team has landed in Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Paralympic games, with the pair competing in Taekwondo and Athletics.

The Afghanistan Paralympic Team, represented by Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli, have arrived in Tokyo ahead of the Saturday the 28th of August ahead of their events.

With global support from individuals, organisations and governments the pair were evacuated from Kabul to Paris, France last weekend.

This week the pair have been resting and training in the French capital at the National Institute of Sport Expertise and Performance (INSEP), the French sports ministry high-performance training centre. 

The athletes have met guidelines and returned two negative PCR tests for COVID-19 in the 96 hours and 72 hours before leaving France and were tested once again upon arrival at Haneda Airport.

Khudadad will be Afghanistan’s first female athlete at the Paralympic Games since Athens in 2004. Khudadad will be competing in the Women’s K44 -49kg weight category in Taekwondo which will take place on September 2.

Rasouli will be competing in the Men’s 400m T47 athletics event and will compete as the heats start on September 3.

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Through the pair’s participation in the Games and performances on the field of play, the athletes call for hope, peace and solidarity for the people of Afghanistan and the world.

In a statement released by the International Paralympic Committee on early Sunday morning, it said that the Afghanistan Paralympic Committee appreciates all the organisations that supported their athletes.

“The Afghanistan Paralympic Committee expresses its deep appreciation to all the organizations that have provided support to the athletes,” the statement read

“Including several governments, the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, International Paralympic Committee (IPC), Human Rights for All, French Paralympic Committee, British Paralympic Association, and World Taekwondo, for their support in making the dreams of the athletes possible.”

In a statement, Chef de Mission of the Afghan Paralympic Team Arian Sadiqi said that he believes that through the games they can deliver a positive message

“I strongly believe that, through the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic Games, we all can deliver the positive message that peaceful co-existence is best for humanity,” he said.

“That we should celebrate our differences knowing that we have more in common than that which divides us and that we should keep and cherish peace because quarrels and negative feeling only destroy humankind.”

On arrival, the Afghan Paralympic Team were welcomed into the Athletes village by IPC President Andrew Parsons and Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council Chelsey Gotell.

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