Khudadadi qualifies for Paris 2024 Paralympics; Poland, Georgia, Greece athletes make history


SOFIA, Bulgaria (Mar 8, 2024) - The European Qualification tournament for Paris 2024 Paralympic saw Games several thrilling matches with Refugee Team athlete Zakia Khudadadi, one of the top names in the field, making the cut for her second Games.


There were athletes from three nations – Poland, Georgia and Greece – making history as they secured quotas for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, at the one-day event in Sofia, Bulgaria.


These will also be the first time these nations will be part of the Paralympics, after Para Taekwondo made its debut in Tokyo 2020 Games


Khudadadi, who became the first female athlete from Afghanistan to participate in the Paralympics since Athens 2004, three years back in Tokyo, defeated Dzhetsun-sholbana Kara-Ool 16-14 in a K44 women -47kg thrilling final.


“I couldn't believe that I would be able to win gold again and get the permit to enter the Paris 2024 Paralympics on March 8, International Women's Day. I’m very happy and I feel I’m slowly getting closer towards my dreams.


“Even if I am a refugee on this path, I believe I will achieve my dreams. My identity will never change. I will always be an Afghan girl and I am proud of it, and I will continue my fight so that Afghan women are not forgotten by the world,” said an emotional Khudadadi, who trains in France now.


Among other names, who left a mark was Serbia’s Nikola Spajic who beat Joseph Lane of Great Britain by a big margin 30-7 in K44 men -80kg final.


All 10 gold medallists (5 each in men and women) secured the quotas for their respective nations.


The gold medallists who earned quotas for their nations in each categories are: Joel MARTIN (ESP) - K44 Men -58kg; Adnan MILAD (ISR) - K44 Men -63kg; Giorgi NIKOLADZE (GEO) - K44 Men -70kg; Nikola SPAJIC (SRB) - K44 Men -80kg;  Aliskhab RAMAZANOV (AIN) - K44 Men +80kg; Zakia KHUDADADI (RTA) - K44 Women -47kg; Ana JAPARIDZE (GEO) - K44 Women -52kg; Yuliya LYPETSKA (UKR) - K44 Women -57kg; Patrycja ZEWAR (POL) - K44 Women -65kg;  Eleni PAPASTAMATOPOULOU (GRE) - K44 Women +65kg