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Female cyclists to attend France tournament

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The female cycling athletes are to participate in a tournament scheduled to be held in two weeks in France, the cycling federation said.

“Six female cyclists are going to go for an international tournament based on an invitation by the French sports committee,” Sadiq Sadiqi, head of the federation, said Sunday.

He added that the sportswomen were ready to participate in the race. “We hope to have considerable achievements for our country.”

The invitation follows female cycling team’s candidacy for a peace award Friday among 100 top world cycling teams.

Earlier, Afghan Cycling Federation had held the national cycling matches at length of 60km from Kabul to Gol Ghondi hills in Parwan province.

20 cyclists from Kabul, Parwanm, Panjshir, Bamyan and Balkh provinces had participated in the match.

The National Olympics Committee on Sunday appreciated Masouma Alizada, Zahrah Alizada and Frozan Rasooli, who got first to third positions respectively.

“I am a champion in cycling, but I don’t dare to ride bicycle on the streets in front of people,” said Masouma Alizada.

“Girls’ biking is still strange in the society. We live in a country where there is no chance for girls, but we think differently. We want to prove ourselves at any cost,” she said.

Taliban in their five-year rule (1996-2001), had excluded women from public life. Women were not allowed to go to school or work outside.

Sadiqi said that after France matches they would launch the national cycling races among 20 sportswomen in Bamyan province.

“In order to encourage the females to sports, we want to conduct the cycling matches in Bamyan the competition will start from Kabul and end to Band-e Amir in Bamyan province”.

So far the Afghan Cycling Federation has 15 female cyclists and plans to set up a teenagers’ team.

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