WASHINGTON - An all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan, who nearly didn’t get to compete in the U.S. after their visas were denied twice, went head-to-head with some of the best teams in the world.
The Afghan team of student engineers won its first heat on Monday, but they almost didn’t make the D.C. tournament in time until President Donald Trump intervened at the last minute to help them.
"We can't believe we are here and playing this match, really,” Alireza Mehraban, the coach of the team said.
"Thank you and I’m very excited that I’m here,” one of the girls said through an interpreter.
The high school students trekked over 500 miles to the Afghan capital twice only to be denied visas twice. That’s when Trump stepped in to make sure the team would make the competition.
The six-person team led the parade of nations at Sunday night's opening ceremony at DAR Constitution Hall. The competition being hosted by First Global features teams from 160 countries.
"I’m very excited that I get to see the other people, but in the main way I think I have to work harder,” one of the Afghan students said through an interpreter.
In the video player above, FOX 5’s Bob Barnard brings us the action of the robotics competition.