August 19, 2017: 23-year-old Madiea Ghafoor becomes the first Baloch girl to ever participate in the Olympics. She is going to represent the Netherlands in the 4X400 relay at Rio Olympics, today.
Ghafoor was raised in Amsterdam and is the granddaughter of Karachi-based politician late Lal Baksh Rind. Her parents belong to Lyari town, Sindh, Pakistan. An avid track runner since childhood, Ghafoor’s potential was spotted when she was 13 years old at her school by her coach Sammy Monsels. Her coach for the Rio Olympics is Urtha Rozenstruik.
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“I feel honoured to be a part of this huge event and to be an inspiration for the Baloch people, especially the youth,” says Madiea, who was unaware of the fact that she was the first Baloch female athlete to ever represent a country. She advises all aspiring athlete to never give up on their dreams.
List of her achievements include-
• Winning a bronze medal in women’s 400m race at the European Athletics Junior Championships, Estonia 2011.
• Bringing laurels for the Netherlands at European championships where she has also cleared till the semi-finals.
• With a total score of 1130, Ghafoor stands at the rank 1200 in the Women’s Overall Ranking, as stated by www.all-athletics.com.
Besides the honour and pride that she carries while preparing for the relay to be held today, she was not expecting to be selected for the Olympics after facing one year of severe injury. The selection came as a thrill to her.
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Madiea dedicates two days a week to the gymnasium, and at least six times preparing for her tournaments on the track. After learning that she is one-of-a-kind Baloch athlete, she is more determined and mentally confident than ever.
NewsGram wishes Ghafoor all the luck and success for her relay! Girl power all the way!
– prepared by Chetna Karnani of NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna
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