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First-ever Olympic medal sparks national pride in Afghanistan
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08:57, August 22, 2008

The entire Afghanistan basked in pride after Taekwondo player Rohullah Nikpai Wednesday defeated world champion spaniard Juan Antonio Ramos to win bronze, Afghanistan's first-ever Olympic medal.

"We're too happy, and even can't express in words how happy we are," Ghulam Jilani Gharob, a media officer of Afghan Olympic Committee, told Xinhua.

Gharob said this achievement will encourage more Afghans to support sports activities, especially Taekwondo, in the war- ravaged country.

"President Hamid Karzai telephoned Nikpai yesterday (Aug. 20) to congratulate on his winning medal, saying the whole nation is proud of his victory," said Abdul Basir Ayoubi, a media officer at Afghan presidential palace.

Karzai has ordered authorities to award Nikpai a residential apartment, according to Ayoubi.

Outlook Afghanistan, an influential local English-language newspaper, in Thursday editorial titled "Bravo! Rohullah Nikpai" Thursday said the entire nation felt proud for the first Olympic medal in Afghan history, terming it "blasting information of glee. "

"It is not only to boast the moral of the terrorism-hit people but also a following paradigm for the people of the country particularly youth to play their every single part in bringing honor to the country," the Outlook noted.


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