DUSHANBE, May 21, Asia-Plus -- Today, a delegation of Special Olympics Tajikistan numbering 12 persons participated in the Open Asian Games in Bukhara, Uzbekistan on May 14-18.

Dilbar Sharipova, director general of Special Olympics Tajikistan, told Asia-Plus that eight children with intellectual disabilities represented Tajikistan in that Special Olympics Youth Central Asian Games. 

According to her, Tajik Special Olympics athletes competed in table tennis and field and track athletics. “Our Special Olympics athletes -- Mehrdod Ikromzoda, Daler Soqiyev, Gulmira Saymatova, Bakhtiyor Gadoyev and Inomkhuja Nourishanov -- won four gold, three silver and three bronze medals,” Sharipova said.

Athletes from nine countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Poland, took part in the competitions.    

  Tajik Special Olympics athletes have actively participated in international contests for people with intellectual disabilities.  Last October, they won two gold medals in the Special Olympics Youth European Games in Rome.    

Since 1991, Special Olympics Tajikistan has grown to some 6,000 athletes, with activities in all regions.  

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 30 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. 

Special Olympics currently serves more than 2.25 million persons with intellectual disabilities in more than 200 programs in more than 160 countries.