AOPNEWS | February 15, 2016
Afghanistan has been a dominant force in the 2016 South Asian Games’ Taekwondo competitions by winning more gold medals than any other country, including host country India, which is the biggest and most well-funded nation in the competitions. In total, Afghanistan has won 6 gold medals, 1 silver medal, and 1 bronze medal in Taekwondo.
Starting from the lower weight classes, in the men’s competition, Mohsen Rezaei defeated India’s Abrar Khan to win the gold medal in the Under 54 kg category. Mahmood Haidari defeated India’s Gajendra Parihar to win the gold in the Under 58kg category. Ahmad Ali Bakshi defeated Nepal’s Bir B Mahara to win the gold in the Under 63kg category. Two-time Olympic medalist, Rohullah Nikpai defeated Pakistani Naveed Khan via a technical knockout to win the gold medal in the Under 68kg category, and M Sharif Muradi defeated India’s Manu George to win the gold in the Under 74kg category. Afghanistan also won a gold medal in the women’s portion of the competition. Sumaya Ghulami defeated Nepal’s Gyani Chunara to win the gold in the women’s Under 57kg category. Ghulami has made history by becoming the first female Afghan to win a gold medal in the history of the Taekwondo competition.
Overall, in all the sports, Afghanistan so far has a total of 33 medals – 7 gold, 8 silver, and 18 bronze. All the gold medals have so far been in the martial arts – 6 from Taekwondo and 1 from Wushu. Khairullah Lalzad won the gold medal for Afghanistan in Wushu at the 75kg category on February 10th.
This year’s South Asian Games began on February 6 and it will finish on February 16th. A total of 8 countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) are participating in 23 sports in the South Asian Games.