Sun, 24 Sep 2023

KABUL, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Engrossed in training inside a boxing club to hone his skills before heading to China for the Hangzhou Asian Games, Afghan athlete Mohammad Idris Jafari dreams of clinching the competition and returning home with a gold medal.

"Our only wish is to bring the gold medal to Afghanistan. We can bring smiles to the faces of our countrymen through sports," Jafari told Xinhua in the boxing club here recently.

Afghanistan has been invited to send a total of 17 teams, comprising 103 athletes and 23 coaches, to the Hangzhou Asiad, which is set to commence on September 23. The Afghan athletes, including three boxers, are scheduled to depart Kabul for China on September 20.

Having dedicated 12 years to boxing and being a part of the Afghanistan national boxing team for the past five years, Jafari is also eager to immerse himself in Chinese culture. "Availing the opportunity of sport trip, I like to see the culture of the Chinese people and visit the historical and recreational places of China during my trip there and it would be a historical trip as well," Jafari assumed.

Echoing Jafari's sentiments, fellow athlete Jabar Populzai is also fueled by the dream of returning home with accolades from the Hangzhou Games. "There are wins and losses in the competition. I am going to win and I have confidence in myself to win and bring the medal and honor to home," Populzai told Xinhua.

Having trained in boxing for nine years and recently joining the Afghanistan boxing team, Populzai will be participating in an international championship for the first time. Populzai said: "I will compete in the game to show the world that there is boxing in Afghanistan."

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