Glamorous Victory of Iran in the LondonParalympics
Glamorous Victory of Iran in the LondonParalympics
In the London Paralympics, Iran stood in 11th place in the medal rankings; a historic achievement for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran won 10 gold, 7 silver, and 7 bronze medals at the London 2012 Paralympics Summer Games, which was the country’s best showing throughout the history of the Paralympics. Iranians surprised the world by winning a total of 24 medals and finishing above France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Sweden, and some other countries regarded as sporting powers. At the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, Iran finished in 22nd place on the medal board, with 5 gold, 6 silver, and 3 bronze medals.
The 2012 London Summer Paralympics opened on August 29 and ran until September 9. The Paralympic Games is the world's second largest major international multi-sport event, involving athletes with a range of physical challenges. Iran sent 79 athletes to the London Paralympics, competing in 13 events.
Following the great victory of Iranians, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a statement congratulating Iran’s Paralympians:
“The honors you have achieved at the international competitions pleased the Iranian nation and created joy and happiness for the people. I thank you very much. Your commitment to Islamic teachings and values also deserves very special appreciation.”
Shot putter Jalil Bagheri Jeddi was the athlete who won Iran’s first gold medal at the London Paralympics. Bagheri Jeddi made a throw of 11.63 meters to win the gold in the men’s F54/55/56 class shot put event.
Recurve archer Zahra Nemati was the first Iranian female who won the gold medal in women's individual W1/W2 class event at the 2012 London Paralympics. “My Italian rival was very strong and I really worked hard to beat her. I wanted to prove that we can win a medal despite lack of equipment. I dedicate my gold medal to all of the people who prayed for me to achieve this success. I also want to thank all of my coaches who helped me,” Nemati said. She competed in taekwondo before her legs were paralyzed. She was a black belt and was in the national team.
Siamand Rahman of Iran, who was considered as the most powerful man in this Paralympics, twice set Paralympics records as he claimed the gold medal in the men's +100 kg weight class. The 24-year-old broke the record with his opening lift of 270 kg in front of cheering Iranian supporters and then he lifted 280 kg in his second attempt. In his third attempt, Rahamn failed to lift 301 kg and surprisingly, he opted not to try for the record again in his fourth attempt. "I am so happy because of winning the gold medal but I am also sad since I could not lift the 301 kg. I had lifted 310 kg in my trainings prior to the Paralympic Games. I will do that in the next Paralympics", Rahman said.
In a different competition, Peyman Nasiri of Iran seized the gold medal of the Men's 1,500 m T20 final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The Iranian crossed the line with a time of 3:58:49 at the Olympic Stadium in London. "I came to London for winning the gold medal, that's why I am here. I felt enormous pressure before the competitions and I am happy," the 32-year old athlete said.
Athlete Mohammad Khalvandi is another Iranian who won the gold medal in the Men's Javelin Throw - F57/58 with a throw of 50.98 m at Olympic Stadium.
In another competition, Iran's Javad Hardani claimed the gold medal in the Men's Discus Throw F37/38 at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Olympic Park Stadium. The Iranian won the gold medal with a throw of 52.91 m. "I am so happy since I could wave my country's flag in front of 80,000 spectators around the stadium," Hardani said.
Medals by categories
Five out of ten of Iran’s gold medals came in the athletics events. Peyman Nasiri (1500 m T20 category), Mohsen Kaedi (javelin throw F33/34 category), Javad Hardani (discus throw F37/38 category), Jalil Bagheri Jeddi (shot put F54/55/56 category), and Mohammad Khalvandi (javelin throw F57/58 category) all claimed gold. Iran also took home 5 silver medals and 3 bronze medals in athletics, which was their most successful series of events in the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Powerlifting was the second most successful sporting competition for Iran at the 2012 Paralympic Games. The Iranian power-lifters won 4 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze medals. Nader Moradi (-60kg category), Ali Hosseini (-75kg category), Majid Farzin (-82.5kg category), and Siamand Rahman (+100 kg category), the strongest man of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, all claimed gold medals. Roohallah Rostami (-67.5kg category) won a silver medal and Ali Sadeghzadeh (-100 kg category) settled for bronze.
Iranian athlete Majid Farzin who won the gold medal of the Men's -82.5-kilogram category of the powerlifting competition, managed to lift 237 kilograms in his third and last attempt to earn the gold. He successfully lifted 233 and 235 kilograms in his two previous tries.
Iranian power-lifter Nader Moradi dedicated his gold medal to the victims of the earthquakes that struck north-western Iran last month. “I would like to express my deep condolences to the families of the victims. I dedicate my medal to them,” Moradi said.
Twin earthquakes leveled villages and damaged homes in northwestern Iran on August 11. At least 300 people were killed, and more than 3000 were injured.
Aside from Zahra Nemati who won the gold medal in women's individual W1/W2 class event at the 2012 London Paralympics, the Iranian women’s recurve team also earned a bronze medal. These results were not expected from the Iranian women. In the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, Iran didn’t win any medals in archery.
Sareh Javanmardi was Iran’s only shooter who won a medal at the 2012 Paralympics. She took home the bronze in the ten meter air pistol shooting event.
Iran’s 7-a-side football team defeated Brazil 5-0 in the third place play-off match on the final day of the Paralympics, to win a bronze, which was Iran’s last medal.
China topped the medal rankings with 95 gold, 71 silver and 65 bronze medals for a tally of 231 medals overall. Russia came in second with 35 gold, 38 silver and 28 bronze medals and 101 overall. The host country Britain finished in third place with 34 gold, 43 silver, and 43 bronze medals for a tally of 120 medals.
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