TEHRAN, Oct. 20 (MNA)—A Byelorussian shot putter has stolen the limelight in Iran, as she has been winning several medals in different events.

Leila Rajabi born Tatsiana Ilyushchanka wants to record her name in the history forever. When she decided to take on a professional sport in Vitebsk, all her family members opposed her; but she has now been Iran’s main candidate for best shot putter, though originally from Belarusian.

Now, the best among woman shot putters of Islamic countries, she is preparing for the next event. Tatsiana, now Leila Rajabi, is Iran’s hope for medal; however she needs an international coach for better progression. She and her husband (Peiman Rajabi) are preparing for future competitions in Tehran.

In an interview she asnwered some question.


What did bring Tatsiana Ilyushchanka to athletics?

I was 14 when in our school our sport teacher carried out a test to find talented children. Early on my childhood, I find an interest in track and field; however I did not assume that a day I would be in a professional level.

was anyone athletic in your family?

My maternal aunt was professional athlete in sailing in Soviet era.

What was your family’s opinion about sport?

They were hostile toward it, and said it was not good; however, they have come to terms with that.

What do you think yourself?

I knew sports via my husband. I am satisfied with it.

In retrospect, would you choose the same track?

Maybe I would change something; but I would choose definitely sports.

How did you performed in education?

I was student of Physical Education, but I abandoned it because of pressures from exercises.

Did you know your future husband during sport?

Yes. After a year and half, we married. He was in the camp in Belorussia.

Did you have any familiarity with Iran?

My husband told me much about Iran and Islam. I studied myself, too.

And was his account of Islam and Iran factual?

Yes. In Europe, they do not usually represent a good face of Islam. Information is lacking and there is no propaganda for Islam. I examined the accounts and found that things were not the same as they told us.

Was your personal idea of Islam as such, or for the sake of your life and marriage, you converted to Islam?

It was not just for my husband or his words. To know Islam, I sought the help from Internet and books. Conversion is a great decision; you should know what you are doing.

And your family, would they object to your conversion?

They accepted the fact that I was a Muslim. It is good to have faith in a religion. To believe in something is helpful in life.

Do not you want to return back to Belorussia?

I am satisfied with my life here in Iran. During six years here, I have had no problem and I don’t have any intention to return back.

Do you feel at home in Iran?

Iranian people and culture are different than those in other countries. You would not feel that you are a foreigner.

By the way, did your husband’s family welcome your marriage?

They welcomed and showed no discontent. They are all good guys.

Why did you adopt ‘Leila’ as your new name?

Leila was Imam Hussein’s (as) wife’s name. My husband’s name was Hussein as well. We chose the name in mutual agreement. However, I found this relationship [of the names] later. I adopted hijab myself, and my best athletic records came after I had adopted hijab.

How did your husband behave toward you?

He is a hardworking man. Iranian men are good for living with, since they respect woman. Many believe that woman are slaves; but it is not so in Iran. I think men and women are equal in Iran.

How is the situation in Belorussia?

In Belorussia, they wouldn’t respect woman as much. In Islam, there is much support for women.

Where do you live?

We live here in Tehran and frequent to Bushehr.

How about exercises?

We do it in Tehran, usually with my husband.

Is doing sport difficult when you wear hijab?

I adopted hijab in my own consent, and my best athletic records came after I had adopted it.

Have you had difficulties outside Iran?

In my sport field, to wear hijab poses no obstacle to activity. However, outside Iran, they wonder if it would or wouldn’t pose a problem. It is not difficult for me.

Do you think you could win an Olympic medal?

For winning in Olympic, good facilities, coaches, and supervision are crucial. I have not had any coach in six past years. Shot putting has many technicalities, and without a coach, much progress is impossible.

Thank you for your time and care.


SH

MNA

END

News Code 100160

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