Pride beats disappointment over Afghan sprinter | Pakistan Today

Pride beats disappointment over Afghan sprinter

Pride mixed with disappointment met the efforts of war-torn Afghanistan’s only female athlete at the London Olympics when she ran but came last in her heat for the 100m Friday. Despite failing to qualify, Tahmina Kohistani, who competes in long black trousers, long sleeves and a head scarf, posted a personal best time of 14.42.
“Even though Tahmina missed the qualifications still the nation is proud of her — sure difficult to run in hijab,” said one post on Twitter.
Another Afghan tweeter, who made it clear he was less than impressed, responded to criticism by saying: “Well, I think we should not think small and cheap. We are there and we have to try not to be at the end (last) at least.” But most comments were positive, with one on Facebook summing up the feelings of many in this conservative Muslim country where government television does not even show women’s events: “She was running for freedom and equality and she won.”
“In my society there is no sport for females,” Kohistani said in London ahead of the race. “My people do not accept sport for women; they think sport is not good for them. “Being a Muslim female athlete is most important for me. I represent a country where every day there are suicide bomb blasts. It is important that a girl from such a country can be here.” Many who watched the race on private cable TV in Kabul shared her opinion. “Let’s not focus on the fact that she did not qualify, let’s remember that we are living in a society in which until 10 years ago girls were banned from going to school,” said Naweed Farzan. “Tahmina is a brave girl, she sets a good example to other Afghan women that they should be brave. The country should be proud of her,” he said.

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