Afghanistan Sports and Games
Afghanistan sports and games are some how limited than the other South Asian countries, however, the Afghan athletes are trying hard to gain back what they have lost in last three decades of war.
People of Afghanistan love sports including their traditional outdoor games. In recent years, Afghanistan has been invited internationally in many different fields of sport for competition around the world. Luckily most of the time, the Afghan athletes returned home with winning medals from various matches.
Afghanistan has different types of sports with strong and impressive athletes representing their country. One of the most popular traditional sports in Afghanistan is Buzkashi which literary means (goat grabbing) and played by two teams on horseback. The second most popular sport of Afghanistan is Kite Flying which has lots fun across the country and around the world. Football (soccer) is the third loving game in Afghanistan followed by cricket as the fourth famous sport of the region. Cricket gained popularity in early 2002, when Afghan refugees who had lived in Pakistan (where cricket is very popular) returned home and brought the sport with them. The young Afghan Cricket team has defeated several countries in several international matches around the world and brought significant achievements home. In November 2007, Afghanistan and Oman shared the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Twenty20 Cup, an event that featured 10 Asian nations. Moreover, On April 9th 2010, the Afghan Cricket team has defeated Nepal and won the ACC Trophy Elite.
After the fall of the Taliban regime, sports in Afghanistan once again gained attention of its fans across the country. Taekwondo has become one of the famous sports in Afghanistan and has well introduced to the people after Afghanistan won a Bronze medal in 2008 Summer Olympics. Rohullah Nikpai, an Afghan Taekwondo athlete competed in 58 kg category by defeating two-time world champion Juan Antonio Ramos of Spain and won the bronze medal in 2008 Summer Olympics, made him Afghanistan's first Olympic medalist. Moreover, Afghanistan sports had many other achievements in the last few years such as in Cricket, Basketball, Taekwondo, Muay Thai and other sports. The country of Uzbekistan Muay Thai Federation was hosted the 2010 Muay Thai Open Asian Championships in Tashkent on June 26th to 30th an Afghanistan attended with 16 athletes. Fortunately the Afghan team has returned home with one gold and eight bronze medals. Muay Thai is a type of marital arts originating from Thailand in which fighters make use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes. Moreover, Afghanistan national basketball team participated in South Asian Games and won its first gold medal in the history of Afghan basketball in the 11th South Asian Games 2010 Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Despite the 30 years of war, current security issues, lack of expert trainers and proper training facilities, Afghanistan sports have developed and the Afghan athletes have been working hard in order to bring pride to their homeland. Afghans have proved to the world that they are a tough and brave nation and they can win even if it costs their lives. On the other hand, the sport has not only been for men, but the women in Afghanistan have also been engaged in sports. In last few years, more women have taken up various types of sports such as, basketball, volleyball, football, as well as martial arts, and boxing. On December 29, 2007, a bodybuilding club for women was inaugurated in Parwan province and has many active athletes. During the dark rule of the Taliban, participation in sports by any gender was restricted including the national game of Buzkashi and kite flying.
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