Afghan Paralympians have left Japan

Two athletes from Afghanistan who took part in the Paralympics have flown out of Tokyo on a flight to Paris.

Informed sources say Hossain Rasouli and Zakia Khudadadi left from Haneda Airport on Monday night.

The two athletes had initially given up hope of competing in Tokyo after the Taliban toppled the government in Afghanistan, depriving them of a safe way to travel.

But eventually they were able to leave Afghanistan and arrived in Japan via France in late August, days after the Paralympics had opened.

Rasouli arrived too late for the 100-meter race in which he was scheduled to compete. Instead he took part in the long-jump and finished in 13th place.

Khudadadi, who became only the second Afghan woman to compete in the Paralympics, participated in two taekwondo matches.

International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons has promised to continue supporting both Afghans after the Tokyo Games.

Parsons told NHK last Thursday that although he does not know where the athletes will reside, the IPC will cooperate with the local Paralympic committee to continue providing assistance once they settle down.