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Toe to toe with taboo

Toe to toe with taboo
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In a gym that was once part of a Taliban punishment centre an Olympic dream has blossomed.

Nineteen-year-old Shabnam Rahimi and her 18-year old sister Sadaf are part of Afghanistan’s first female boxing team and both have their sights firmly set on competing at this year’s London Olympic Games.

But in a deeply conservative society where female boxing is considered taboo the going is already tough for these Olympic contenders.

Sadaf Rahimi said: ‘‘My family has been threatened several times because we are three sisters in the boxing club, they asked my family why the three girls from one family are boxing. Boxing is a hard and difficult sport even for men that is why people are surprised and our family was threatened because of our choice.”

Under Taliban rule all sports for women were banned and to date no Afghan woman has ever won a medal at the Olympics.

These women are hoping to change that this summer when female boxing makes it’s debut as an Olympic medal sport.