Major achievements of Iranian athletes in the past year

TEHRAN, Mar. 27 (MNA) – The Iranian calendar year 1397 (March 2018 – March 2019) was full of joyful moments for Iran’s sports. Here we will take a look at major events and what came as a result.

2018 Asian Games

The 18th edition of Asian Games officially kicked off on August 18, 2018, in Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang and closed September 2. Gaining a total of 62 medals (including 20 gold, 20 silver and 22 bronze medals) Iran finished the Asiad with the 6th rank. China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Uzbekistan topped the medals table ranking.

As far as the number of medals is concerned, Iran delivered a better performance than the last 9 editions by gaining 62 medals. However, the rank of the team in medal table dropped to 6 from 5 of 2014 games held in Incheon.

Iranian women's Kabaddi team celebrating their championship at 2018 Asian Games

One of the historic scenes of the event was when both Iranian men’s and women’s teams of Kabaddi snatched the gold medals of the tournament.

2018 Asian Para Games

Under the motto of “We Can Do It with Trust and Effort,” 209 Iranian para-athletes represented Iran in 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia from October 6 to 13.

Shahin Izadyar with his record-breaking six gold medals at 2018 Asian Para Games

The team won a total of 136 medals (51 gold, 42 silver, 43 bronze) which was enough to win the 3rd place of the medals table, for the first time in history. The phenomenon of this edition was certainly Iran’s swimmer Shahin Izadyar who snatched six gold medals and one silver being named as the best athlete of the event.

Football

Surely this was a year of football with two major events; 2018 World Cup in Russia and 2019 AFC Asian Cup in UAE.

Let’s start with Russia. Team Melli was drawn in Group B of 2018 World Cup along with 2012 World Champion Spain, 2016 UEFA Champion Portugal and 2018 African Nations Champion Morocco. The team gained a 1-0 victory against Morocco in the first match to raise hopes for next round qualification. Team Melli then suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against Spain and managed to hold Portugal in the last game, building a total of 4 points and finishing third in the group behind the two five-pointed European teams.

Iran's Vahid Amiri nutmegging Gerard Piqué at a World Cup match against Spain

Iran caught the eyes during the tournament for its fierce and fighting defense capabilities and many experts praised the Iranian style. However, the team lacked the cutting edge in attacks and was unable to best use its rare opportunities during the games. Iran scored two goals in the campaign; one was an own goal by Moroccan player and the other was from the penalty spot.

Some six months later, Iran started a new campaign in UAE, this time to claim the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Team Melli first hammered Yemen 5-0, then won Vietnam 2-0, before being held by Iraq with a 0-0 draw. With seven points, the team won the group as leader and face Oman in Round of 16 which ended with a 2-0 victory for the Persians.

Team Melli posing for a photo before a match at 2019 AFC Asian Cup

Queiroz’s side managed to gain a 3-0 victory over Marcelo Lippi’s China in the quarterfinals, heading to face Japan in the next round. However, the Samurai Blue taught Iranian players the true meaning of being professional. When five Iranian players were objecting to referee for nothing, two Japanese players broke the deadlock in the game and Team Melli could not manage the rest of the match; a bitter defeat but hopefully a good lesson.

Another great moment for Iranian football was when Persepolis secured a berth to AFC Champions League final match. Although the Iranian team lost the final matched 2-0 (on aggregate), it was highly praised for its good performance, considering that the team was banned from two transfer windows. And also the successful holding of the final match and cup ceremony in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium proved Iran’s high potentials for hosting major continental events.

Basketball

Iranian men's basketball team punched a ticket to the 2019 FIBA World Cup with a win over Australia in late February. Iran played the last games without two prominent stars, namely Hamed Haddadi, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami.

Weightlifting

Sohrab Moradi broke world records of men’s 96kg category in 2018 IWF World Weightlifting Championships in Turkmenistan, collecting three gold medals as well. The Olympic gold medalist raised 186kg in snatch, and 230kg in clean and jerk and 416kg in total, breaking three world records.

Sohrab Moradi celebrating gold medal at 2018 Asian Games

Also another Olympic gold medalist of Iran, Behdad Salimi announced retirement after gaining the gold medal of men’s +105kg category at 2018 Asian Games.

Futsal

There was two major futsal event in the past year, the trophy of both came to Iran. Iranian women’s team retained the title of AFC Women’s Futsal Championship with a 5-2 win over Japan in May 2018, in Thailand.

Iranian women's futsal team celebrating the 2018 Asian championship

And Iran’s Mes Sungun defeated Vietnam’s Thai Son Nam FC 4-2 to clinch the title of AFC Futsal Club Championship.

Mes Sungun players at cup ceremony of 2018 AFC Futsal Championship

Sports in Iran is demonstrating a growing trend and Iranian athletes are trying hard to keep these developments going.

MAH

News Code 143438

Tags

Your Comment

You are replying to: .
  • 1 + 6 =