Refugee Para taekwondo athlete Zakia Qudadadi, 24, who dramatically fled Afghanistan two years ago and competed at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, has been crowned European champion. Qudadadi won the women’s 47-kilogram taekwondo final at the European Para Championships 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on Thursday (Nov. 14) with a 2-0 overtime victory over Nurjihan Ekens (Turkiye).Trailing 4-6 with seconds left in regulation time, she dramatically tied the score to force overtime, and persistently pushed her opponent to win the gold medal. It is the first time Qudadadi has won a major international title .”I’m very happy to win for the first time,” he told Inside the Games and other media outlets after the race, choking back tears, “I’m an Afghan athlete, but I’m competing as a refugee due to domestic issues. I will continue to challenge myself towards the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.” Born with a congenital disability in his left arm, Qudadadi learned taekwondo after watching Rohullah Nikpai become the first Afghan athlete to win an Olympic medal at the 2008 Beijing Games. She struggled through the unrest at home, but never stopped training, determined to bring hope to Afghan women with disabilities. Qudadadi 카지노사이트 faced a major setback in 2021, the year of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. The Taliban had taken control of Afghanistan, and it looked like her participation in the Games would be canceled. With the help of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), she made a dramatic escape from Kabul and traveled to Paris, France, and then Tokyo, Japan, where she became the first Afghan woman to compete in a Paralympic Games .At the time, she was eliminated in the round of 16 in the women’s 49-kilogram category, but her story resonated around the world. Afterward, she continued her training in France with the help of the French Taekwondo Federation. She also competed in the French national team uniform .Koudadadi said he will continue to compete internationally with the refugee team, not the French national team. “If we perform well at the Paris Paralympics, we will send a big message to the women of Afghanistan,” she said.
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