Afghan athletes arrived in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon after attending the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta in Indonesia.
In a disappointing show, only two athletes brought home medals – both bronze – one for Wushu and one for Korash. Overall, Afghanistan ended 35th out of 45 nations that participated.
Afghanistan National Olympic Committee (NOC) members and fans were however on hand to welcome the athletes home after their arrival at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
NOC officials said the Afghan athletes did well at the games and that the committee was sure they would fare better in future.
“In the future it (such a result) is not acceptable to us. While Afghan sport recovered from the biggest crisis, our athletes went forward with the biggest neighboring countries such as Pakistan and even Turkmenistan. Our athletes did well,” Hafiz Wali Rahimi, head of the NOC said.
“I did not believe that we could get medals, because the competition was at a very high level. I am proud of our athletes,” NOC executive director Dad Mohammad Payenda Akhtari said.
The two Afghan athletes who won medals, Khalid Hotak in Wushu and Mansour Sarwari in Korash, said they held up well in their events.
“Fortunately, we appeared very strong and defeated the countries whose athletes were well prepared,” said Hotak.
“My only wish was to defeat Iran in a competition and I achieved my dream at this competition,” said Sarwari.
Afghanistan Korash team coach Yama Samadi was meanwhile a referee at the Asian Games 2018.
Seventy nine Afghans took part, in 16 sporting categories.
China however ended at the top of the log with 286 medals.