Afghanistan's TKD hero Nikpai visited the TPF
Afghanistan’s Taekwondo hero Rohullah Nikpai visited the Taekwondo Promotion Foundation.
Nikpai and theAfghanistani Olympic team landed in Korea on May 28th for an intensive one-month training. The team’s visit to the TPF was arranged by Dai-Soon Lee, chairman of the foundation and ATU President.
Nikpai and the rest of the team listened carefully to the explanations about the ‘Taekwondowon’ (formerly known as the ‘Taekwondo Park’) that will be completed in 2013.
Jong-Shin Bae, chairman of the board of TPF, said that, “we are thankful to the Taekwondo athletes, who, through Taekwondo, are giving new hope for Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction”, and that “we hope that ‘Taekwondowon’ will be of great help for the athletes who will visit us to improve their skills and talent”.
Nikpai’s Beijing 2008 bronze medal was the first medal in the history of Afghanistan’s Olympic participation. For war-torn Afghanistan, the joyous moment when Nikpai clinched the bronze medal was hopefully a moment to forget all the pain caused by the war.
After Beijing 2008, Taekwondo became a symbol of hope for Afghanistan. According to Sin-Hak Min, the Olympic team manger’s words, Taekwondo is the sport that will gain most attention among the Afghanistani people in the London 2012 Olympics.
Min said that, “after Nikpai’s bronze medal, Taekwondo became a symbol of hope in Afghanistan. Our Taekwondo athletes are receiving all the attention an expectations from the Afghanistanis.”
There are two athletes competing in London 2012: Nikpai and Nesar Ahmad Bahawi (men’s -80kg).
Bahawi is currently 15th in the Olympic category ranking and won a silver medal at the ‘2007 Beijing World Taekwondo Championships’, and a gold medal at the ‘2011 Asian Qualification Tournament for the London Olympics’. Afghanistan is expecting to see another Taekwondo hero, alongside Nikpai.
The Afghanistan Olympic team will continue training with the electronic protector until June 28th and will leave on June 29th[:]