Category Archives: Sports

U.S Wrestlers welcomed by chanting Iranian fans with gifts and flowers at the Freestyle World Cup 2017

The applause began as Team USA walked into the crowded stadium here at the Freestyle World Cup Wrestling championships in Kermanshah, Iran. The Iranians in the crowd whooped, cheered, and began chanting the name of Jordan Burroughs, the best known athlete here. […]

So it was again in Kermanshah, as Iranian fans welcomed Team USA — a powerhouse of the sport — with gifts and flowers. […]

“The welcome has been so gracious, it’s great being here,” said Burroughs, who has more Instagram followers from the Iranian capital Tehran than any other city in the world. “The reaction I get from fans here is more than what I get back in the States.” […]
— Source: Time

Unlike in politics, in wrestling there is a great deal of awe and respect between the US and Iran. “I have been wrestling overseas for three years now and every Iranian I have ever come in contact with has been extremely respectful, extremely polite,” US Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder said during a training session. “[While] there’s a little bit of turmoil politically, you definitely don’t see that within the sport. We respect each other as competitors and as people,” Snyder told CNN.

Wrestling is one of Iran’s favorite sports and many of team USA’s wrestlers are celebrities here. “In America we are misfits. In Iran we are heroes, so it is really cool to see,” Burroughs said. We’ve come to win before any political stance, but we think it’s an opportunity to show how cool and how great of a relationship we have on such an intricate level, “Burroughs said before Friday’s final. “[It’s about] seeing the people, being engaged with them and understanding their culture as much as we can before we make any big decisions about who they truly are.”
— Source: CNN

Winning the Freestyle Wrestling World Cup title for the sixth time in a row, Iran defeated USA in the 2017 final match, while Azerbaijan placed third with a victory over Turkey.

Later the US team wrote on their Instagram: “Thank you to the wonderful Iranian fans for cheering on our men throughout the World Cup & being gracious hosts!”

Detailed finals results: IRAN (IRI) 5 : 3 UNITED STATES (USA)
57 kg – Hassan Sabzali RAHIMI (IRI) df. Anthony Joseph RAMOS (USA), 6-0
61 kg – Masoud Mahmoud ESMAEILPOORJOUYBARI (IRI) df. Logan Jeffery STIEBER (USA), 6-2
65 kg – Meisam Abolfazl NASIRI (IRI) df. Frank Aniello MOLINARO (USA), 5-4
70 kg – Mostafa Mohabbali HOSSEINKHANI (IRI) df. James Malcolm GREEN (USA), 2-0
74 kg – Jordan Ernest BURROUGHS (USA) df. Peyman Morteza YARAHMADI (IRI), 3-2
86 kg – David Morris TAYLOR III (USA) df. Hassan Aliazam YAZDANICHARATI (IRI) by FALL, 10-4
97 kg – Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Amir MOHAMMADI (IRI), 6-0
125 kg – Komeil GHASEMI (IRI) df. Nicholas Edward GWIAZDOWSKI (USA), 5-0

Other sources: teamusa.org, Instagram @alliseeisgold, Instagram @usawrestling, Instagram @unitedworldwrestling, unitedworldwrestling.org, Azad News Agency, BORNA, FARS 1, FARS 2, IRNA, ISNA, Tasnim News

Iran writes history at the 2016 Futsal World Cup

For the first time in the history of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Iran won a bronze medal, as they claimed third place after a 4-3 penalty shootout win over Portugal following a 2-2 draw. The Iranians came from two goals down to take the third-place match to a dramatic penalty shootout, where six rounds of spot kicks were needed to decide the contest. This is the first time ever an Asian team reached the third place.

Iran achieved another first, when reigning and record futsal world champion Brazil was eliminiated in the round of 16, in a thriller that started with Brazil leading 3:1 against Iran and then losing on penalties after Iran fought back to a 4:4 draw. Brazilian futsal legend, Falcao, scored three goals, in what turned out to be his final game and as one, the entire Iran team went to Falcao to say their own farewells, throwing him into the air in celebration of a career that has left an indelible mark on futsal.

Last but not least, Iranian pivot Ahmad Esmaeilpour won the Bronze Ball. He is the first Asian player to be selected as one of the tournament’s top three players.

The 8th edition of the FIFA Futsal World Cup was held in Colombia from September 10th to October 1st, 2016.

Iranian squad
Goalkeepers: Sepehr Mohammadi (1) and Alireza Samimi (2). Defenders: Mohammad Keshavarz (4), Hamid Ahmadi (5), Afshin Kazemi (9) and Farhad Tavakoli (13). Wings: Mohammadreza Sangsefidi (6), Ali Hassan Zadeh (7), Ghodrat Bahadori (8), Mohammad Taheri (10), Mehran Alighadr (11). Pivots: Ahmad Esmaeilpour (3), Hossein Tayebi (12) and Mahdi Javid (14). Coach: Seyed Nazemalsharieh.

Sources: Wikipedia | 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup, FIFA | Futsal World Cup, IRNA

Overview: Iran at the 2016 Rio Paralympics (Photos)

The XV Summer Paralympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. Iran sent a delegation of 111 athletes (23 women and 88 men)  that competed in 12 disciplines (Archery, Athletics, Canoe Sprint, Cycling Road, Football 5-a-side, Football 7-a-side, Judo, Powerlifting, Shooting, Sitting Volleyball, Swimming and Wheelchair Basketball).

Eshrat Kordestani, player of Iran women’s sitting volleyball team, was the delegation’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony. Iran ranked 15th in Rio 2016, winning a total of 24 medals: 10 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze. Sareh Javanmardi was the most succesful Iranian athlete in Rio 2016, winning two gold medals.

On September 17th, one day before the XV Summer Paralympics ended, the tragic death of Iranian cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad shocked everyone. He had sustained severe injuries to his neck in a serious crash that had happened during men’s C4/C5 road race. After receiving emergency treatment at the scene, he suffered a cardiac arrest while being transported to hospital. He later passed away in intensive care.

Flags were lowered to half-mast across the Paralympic Village and a minute of silence was held in memory of Bahman Golbanezhad at the men’s sitting volleyball final, one of the last events of the Games. The Iranian flag was flown at half mast at the final, while the Iranian team dedicated their gold medal to the memory of Golbanezhad. A minute of silence was also held during the closing ceremony of the Rio Paralympic Games as a tribute to Golbanezhad.

Golbarnezhad was born and raised in Abadan, Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war, he relocated to Shiraz. In 1988, he lost his lower left leg when he walked on a land mine. Three years after his injury, he started his professional sporting career first as a wrestler, then he turned to powerlifting, winning twelve gold medals and one silver medal, according to the Iranian Veterans and Disabled Sports Federation. He stopped weightlifting due to a shoulder injury and started cycling in 2002, winning bronze in C4 at the 2010 Asian Para Games. He qualified for 2012 London Paralympics the same year that his wife died due to cancer. Golbarnezhad and his wife had one son.

MEDAL COUNT & NEW RECORDS SET BY IRANIAN ATHLETES
PR: Paralympic Record / WR: World Record / FPR: Final Paralympic Record
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Archery – Men’s Individual Recurve Open: Gholamreza Rahimi
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Archery – Women’s Individual Recurve Open: Zahra Nemati
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Athletics – Men’s Javelin Throw – F57: Mohammad Khalvandi – 46.12m WR
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Powerlifting – Men’s 80kg: Majid Farzin – 240kg PR & WR
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Powerlifting – Men’s +107kg: Siamand Rahman – 310kg PR & WR
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Shooting – Mixed 50m pistol SH1: Sareh Javanmardi – 189.5 FPR
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Shooting – Women’s 10m pistol SH1: Sareh Javanmardi – 193.4 FPR
16px-Gold_medal_icon.svg Gold – Sitting Volleyball – Men’s: Meisam Ali Pour, Davoud Alipourian (c), Mahdi Babadi, Sadegh Bigdeli, Hossein Golestani, Arash Khormali, Majid Lashkarisanami, Mehrzad Mehravan, Morteza Mehrzadselakjani, Abolfazl Oliyaei, Ramezan Salehihajikolaei and Isa Zirahi. Coach: Hadi Rezaei.
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver
– Archery –
Team recurve open: Zahra Nemati, Ebrahim Ranjbar
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver – Athletics – Men’s Discus Throw F54/55/56: Alireza Ghaleh Naseri
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver – Athletics – Men’s Javelin Throw – F13: Sajad Nikparast
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver
– Athletics –
Men’s Javelin Throw – F57: Abdollah Heydari
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – F12: Saman Pakbaz
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – F42: Sajjad Mohammadian
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver
– Athletics –
Men’s Shot Put – F54/55: Hamed Amiri – 11.40m WR (in F54)
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver – Football –
5-a-side: Defenders (B1) Mohammad Heidari, Mohammadreza Mehninasab, Amir Pourrazavi and Ahmadreza Shahhosseini. Forwards (B1) Rasool Baseri, Sadegh Rahimighasr, Hossein Rajabpour (c) and Behzad Zadaliasghari. Goalkeepers (sighted) Meysam Shojaeiyan and Akbar Shoushtari. Coaches: Javad Felfeli and Mohammadreza Shaddel Basir.
16px-Silver_medal_icon.svg Silver
– Football –
7-a-side: Defenders: Lotfollah Jangjou, Mohammad Kharat, Rastegarimobin Hashem (c) and Hassan Safari. Midfielders: Moslem Akbari, Jasem Bakhshi, Sadegh Hassani Baghi, Mehdi Jamali, Farzad Mehri and Hossein Tiz Bor. Forwards: Rasoul Atashafrouz and Behnam Sohrabi. Goalkeepers: Khazaeipirsarabi Moslem and Babak Safarikourabbasloo. Coach: Amin Allahmani.
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Bronze Archery – Men’s Ind. Recurve Open: Ebrahim Ranjbar – 637 PR (72 arrw. rkg. rd)
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Bronze – Athletics – Men’s 1500m T20: Peyman Nasiri Bazanjani
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Bronze Athletics – Men’s Javelin Throw – F34: Mohsen Kaedi
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Bronze Athletics – Men’s Javelin Throw – F38: Javad Hardani
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Bronze – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – F53: Asadollah Azimi
Bronze_medal_icon.svg
Bronze – Athletics – Men’s Shot Put – F56/57: Javid Ehsani Shakib
Bronze_medal_icon.svg Bronze – Powerlifting – Men’s -107 kg: Ali Sadeghzadeh

The Iran men’s national sitting volleyball team is the most succesful team worldwide. Since their first appearance at the Summer Paralympics in 1988, they have always reached the finals, winning gold except in 2004 and 2012, when they won silver. Since 1984 they have placed among the best three at the World Championships, winning gold in 1984, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2010, silver in 2006 and bronze in 2002 and 2014.

The most succesful Iranians in the history of the Paralympics are athletes Ghader Modabber Raz and Mokhtar Nourafshan, followed by sitting volleyball player Ali Kashfia.

Ghader Modabber Raz competed in F51/F52 Men’s Discus Throw, Javelin Throw and Shot Put in Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000. He won a total of five gold and one bronze medals. Mokhtar Nourafshan competed in 1988, 1996, 2000 and 2004 in F53/F54/F55 Men’s Discus Throw, Javelin Throw and Shot Put, winning four gold, two silver and one bronze medals. Ali Kashfia represented Iran in men’s sitting volleyball at the Paralympics from 1988 to 2000, winning four gold medals.

Archer Zahra Nemati and shooter Sareh Javanmardi are Iran’s most succesful women. Nemati won twice gold, once silver and once bronze at the Paralympic Games in London 2012 and Rio 2016, while Javanmardi won two gold and one bronze medals .

Hadi Rezaei won three gold medals as a player at the men’s sitting volleyball event (1988, 1992, 1996) but added three gold (2000, 2008, 2016) and two silver medals (2004, 2012) as a coach.

Related articles:
The other Iran | 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships
The other Iran | Iran in Rio 2016

Sources: Rio 2016 | Iran, Wikipedia | Iran at the 2016 Summer Paralympics, Wikipedia | Bahman Golbarnezhad, BBC | Bahman Golbarnezhad (in Persian), paralympic.org | Biographies, paralympic.org | Statement, The Guardian, news.xinhuanet.com, Young Journalists Club | Closing ceremony, Tasnim News Agency | Opening ceremony, Daily Mail | Opening ceremony, avax.news | Opening ceremony, The Baltimore Sun | Darkroom, paralympic.org | Historical results, Wikipedia | Iran men’s national sitting volleyball team,

Rio 2016: Zahra Nemati – Iranian archer

Born in April 1985 in Kerman, Iran, Nemati took up taekwondo when she was only eight. Ten years later, in 2003 she suffered a spinal injury during a road accident and both of her legs were paralyzed. After spending two months in the hospital, she returned home in a wheelchair. This would have been the end of a sporting career for most people, but not for Nemati.

On Friday August 5th, 2016, Nemati lead Iranian athletes as flag bearer during the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She is the only Iranian woman ever to have won a Paralympic gold medal and the only Iranian athlete who has qualified for both the 2016 Olympics and the 2016 Paralympics.

She is also the only Iranian athlete who has received the coveted Sport Accord’s Spirit of Sport Individual Award in 2013 and the first Iranian athlete to be named athlete of the year by the International Olympics Committee.

Nevertheless, she is not the first woman from Iran to participate at the Olympic games as flag bearer, as stated in many news articles. In fact, in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics, sports shooter Lida Fariman was the first woman to lead Iran’s contingent. At the time, Fariman was the first woman from Iran to participate at the Olympics since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

In 2008, at the Beijing Olympics, rower Homa Hosseini (women’s single sculls) also led the Iranian delegation, as well as alpine skier Marjan Kalhor (slalom and giant slalom); she was Iran’s flag bearer in 2010 at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Related article:
The Guardian | Trail-blazer Zahra Nemati wins hearts and minds with stirring effort in archery

I am posting daily updates on Iranian athletes’ performances and events at Rio 2016 Olympics here: The other Iran | Iran in Rio 2016

Sources: IranWire, Hindustan TimesBUSTLE, NBC Olympics, NBC News, worldarchery.org

Leila Peykan Pour wins national rally championship (Photos)

Leila Peykan Pour, racing driver from Isfahan, won a national rally championship in KIA Pride Class Standard in Tehran’s Azadi Sports Complex. Forty six drivers from eight provinces competed in four classes.

Sources: fararu.com, Azad News Agency (ANA) 1, ANA 2

Rio 2016: Mahsa Javar – Iranian rower (women’s single sculls)

Mahsa Javar, born 1994 in Zanjan, is competing in Women’s Single Sculls at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on Saturday, August 6th (9:30am local time).

She won a bronze medal in Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea and a silver medal in the same discipline at the 2013 Asian Championships in Lu’an, China.

Photos: Mahsa Javar training for the Olympic Games at Azadi Sport Complex, Tehran – July 2016

Sources: ISNA, Wikipedia | Mahsa Javar (in Persian)

Iran wins gold at U18 Asian Basketball Championships (Photos)

Iran have been crowned champions of the 2016 FIBA Asia U18 Championship after beating Japan 71-65 in the final held at Azadi Basketball Hall in Tehran. It is the third time Iran have won the title of this competition after previous wins in 2004 and 2008.

The hosts lost to Japan and Korea in the group stage, but dethroned the three-time reigning champions China in the quarterfinals and won against Korea in the semifinals. Korea got past Lebanon 86-63 in the 3rd Place Game.

Iran, Japan and Korea will represent Asia at the 2017 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Egypt.

Sources: IRNA, FIBA 1, FIBA 2, Wikipedia | 2016 FIBA Asia Under-18 Championship