South Asian Games: Afghans clinch 6 taekwondo gold medals

AAGKABUL: Afghan athletes have bagged six gold medals in the finals of the taekwondo event at the 12th South Asian Games in India on Monday.

As India finished second, the Afghans clinched six gold, one silver and one bronze medals in the event. The hosts won five gold, three silver and two bronze medals.

Afghanistan’s Ahmad Ali Bakshi trounced Nepal’s Bir B. Mahara to earn a gold in the final-round match in men’s under-63 kg category, according to the Press Trust of India.

In the women under-53 kg category, India’s Latika Bandari clinched the gold while her compatriot Navjeet grabbed the top slot in men’s under-80 kg category, the news agency reported.

In the final of men’s 69kg boxing competition, Afghanistan cried foul over the defeat of Rahemi Allah Dada, accusing the referees of favouring Mandeep Jangra.

Jangra’s gold enabled India to make a clean sweep of in men’s section at the ongoing 12th South Asian Games. But the Afghans were bitter over the result.

After the bout, Afghanistan Amateur Boxing Federation chief Abdullah Sattari said: “The judges want the hosts to win all medals. You ask Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or any other contingent … you will get your answer.”

Sattari added: “I even asked the Indian head coach why have a final. We’re ready to hand you the gold. There’s no point lodging a protest. They are the hosts…”

Overall, Afghan athletes have so far earned 33 medals, including seven gold, eight silver and 18 bronze medals in the multi-sport event. Afghanistan is in the fourth position. -Pajhwok

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