Afghan contingent attracts attention

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Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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New Delhi:

The YMCA boxing championships are taking place in Delhi and a total of 17 international teams are competing. But none seems to be getting more attention than the contingent from Afghanistan, which is recently back in international competition following the end of the Taliban regime. Nisaar Ahmed, coach of the Afghan boxing team, is passing on some tips to his young wards, tips he started gathering when he came to India last time for the Delhi Asian Games in 1982. It took more than two decades for Afghan boxers to visit India again, yet they believe that it was something worth waiting for. "We feel so nice that we've come here. It took a very long time. The government of India has been very good to us and it feels great to help these boxers perform," said Ahmed. The Afghans have made this event more special. The two coaches of the team have come to India with all kinds of memories of the Taliban regime that had virtually banned all sports in Afghanistan. Mohammed Saabir, coach, Afghanistan boxing team, said, "When Taliban was there, everything, especially sports died. Now things are better." India-Afghanistan ties have always been strong and the boxers will clearly be taking back more memories with them than just the ones from the ring.

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