LONDON: Afghanistan’s only female athlete urged her countrywomen to ‘come and join’ her at the next Olympics after she set a personal best in the London Games 100m heats.
Tahmina Kohistani, who has overcome huge prejudice and difficulties to reach the London Olympics, trailed in last in 14.42sec — the day’s slowest time by nearly half-a-second. However, she was overjoyed to run her best ever time. And she said more women should take up sport in Afghanistan.
“I have a big message for the women of Afghanistan: come and join me because I’m alone and I need your support,” said Kohistani. “And we must be ready for the next Olympics. We should have more than one girl in the next Olympics.”
Kohistani, dressed in a black headscarf topped with Afghanistan’s other national colours of red and green, a long-sleeved, light blue top and long trousers, missed the next round’s qualifying time by a distance.
She is part of a six-strong Afghan team including Rohullah Nikpai, whose taekwondo bronze at Beijing 2008 was the country’s first ever Olympic medal.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.