Afghanistan welcomes first group of Asian Games medalists

The first group of Afghan athletes, who clinched three bronze medals at the 19th Asian Games, returned home to an enthusiastic hero’s welcome.

The athletes secured bronze in wushu and taekwondo during the Games held in Hangzhou City, China. A jubilant crowd greeted them at Afghanistan’s National Olympic Committee headquarters in Kabul.

Nusratullah Habibi, a wushu bronze medalist, expressed his optimism about the global appeal of the sport, also known as Chinese martial arts.

“I see wushu at a pivotal stage now. Afghanistan boasts the highest number of medals in this sport, earned by myself and Khalid Hotak. Wushu has been making remarkable progress, and its future looks promising,” he remarked.

Bashir Taraki, the head coach of Afghanistan’s national taekwondo team, praised China for its exceptional hosting of the Games.

“We have participated in numerous sporting events, including the Olympics, including the one hosted by London. However, no other country can match China’s hospitality. We are grateful to the Chinese people, who have consistently honored us. China has been a fortunate destination for us, where we always return home with accomplishments,” Taraki stated.

The 19th Asian Games, jointly hosted by Hangzhou and five other cities in Zhejiang Province, East China, officially commenced on September 23 and will run until the upcoming Sunday.

This year’s edition stands as one of the largest ever, featuring approximately 12,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions, competing across 40 sports, 61 disciplines, and 481 events.