As a country that is undergoing rebuilding at a scorching pace, sports cannot be left far behind. The facilities might not be of international class yet but the passion and motivation in the people is at an all-time high. After a good performance at the Olympics, it is the turn of the other sports to do well. In recent past, the Taekwondo team has won medals in Thailand, the wrestling team has won medals at Uzbekistan and the rugby team is showing a lot of promise at international events. Now comes this Afghan National Army officer, B.Sangar, 26 years of age who has won an international medal in an event where 30 countries were competing. He is a second lieutenant in the Afghan National Army. He was felicitated for this achievement in Kabul.
But, it looks like the road ahead for him in the field of running is very tough. Due to his military commitments, he might not always find the time to train or to participate in races. Even if his Commanders supported his talent and encouraged his running schedules, the problem of financial support is very big. As Lt. Sangar himself says, he knows of many talented athletes who have faced setbacks due to financial reasons. He also understands that government support is easier for those who have some connections in the government. Most of the poor don’t enjoy such patronage.
The international competition in China that he won allowed him an international exposure and a peek into how things worked globally. He loved being welcome and being treated as a friend by fellow athletes. It was also an exceptional learning opportunity for him. The lieutenant enjoyed the feeling of equality. He is also pragmatic of the ground realities in his own country, a country that still lives in the shadow of war. He puts it stoically that it takes a couple of years to build a house and just a couple of minutes to destroy it when a rocket lands on it. He is hopeful that change is coming albeit very slowly. Unlike many other educated, skilled Afghanis, he has high expectations of progress and growth in his country.
Committed to serving his country and giving his best in the field too, Lt. Sangar is a great role model not only for his country’s athletes but for people at large.
Do watch the video to see snippets of his interview and the race that he won in China.
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