Tokyo Paralympic Games: Afghan athlete Hossain Rasouli makes debut after evacuation

Hossain Rasouli recorded a best jump of 4.46m
Place: Tokyo, Japan Appointment: August 24 September 5 Time in Tokyo: BST +8
Blanket: To be continued on Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sport website

Evacuee from Afghanistan Hossain Rasouli finally got the chance to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics – and his opponents “couldn’t help but feel joy” as he lined up alongside them.

Rasouli was one of two Afghan athletes to be safely evacuated last week in a “major global operation”.

They were among thousands of people unable to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power.

The 26-year-old finished last in the T47 long jump final.

He arrived in Tokyo on Sunday, too late to compete in his favorite 100m event.

American Roderick Townsend, who won silver in the long jump, had no idea Rasouli would compete until he saw 13 names on the starting list, instead of 12.

“I saw his name there. With everything going on right now, I couldn’t help but feel joy for him,” Townsend said.

“We’re so caught up in our personal lives, and I’m here complaining about a silver medal and [yet] we have someone who travels the world so that they can do something that we all love to do.

“It says a lot about what the Paralympic Games really mean and what they stand for.”

Rasouli had his left hand amputated after a mine explosion.

Her compatriot, Zakia Khudadadi, 23, will compete in the women’s weight category K44 taekwondo -49kg on Thursday.

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