Official: Afghanistan expects first Olympic medal in Beijing
KABUL, March 16 (Xinhua) — Despite all the difficulties as a lack of budget and training facilities, Afghanistan expects its first medal in the coming 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, said an official from Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (ANOC) on Sunday.
Sayed Mahamood Zia Dashti, vice president of ANOC told Xinhua there are currently three players already qualified for the grand event and two others still fighting for wild cards which seems very hopefully to be obtained.
“Since our taekwondo player Nesar Ahmad Bahawi got the first ever silver medal in an international taekwondo event in Beijing in 2007, we have enough reason to expect the first ever Olympic medal especially on taekwondo for cheering up people in this war-torn country,” Dashti said.
He added that all the five Olympic players have been now training or attending competitions abroad for the next five months.
Moreover, the ANOC official confirmed that a fresh budget of four million U.S. dollars has been approved by government for improving training conditions all over the country, especially in the aspects of playground, facilities, trainer and food.
ANOC was established in 1934 and has attended Olympic events since 1936. Due to the civil war and the harsh Taliban regime, Afghanistan missed two Olympic Games, respectively in 1992 and 2000.