ISP Editorial: A close look at Iran’s performance in 2016 Rio Olympics

Author: Naveed M

( Iran finished with three gold and eight medals in Rio. That was one gold and four medals less than four years ago in London.

Lets start with the positives. Kimia Alizadeh won bronze in Taekwondo and became the first Iranian female medalist in Olympic history. It won’t be a surprise if she will get to two in four years. She lost by one point to the second seed otherwise I think we would see her reach the final. In the final she would face the impressive Jade Jones. Kimia the much taller have previously beaten Jones and would be the underdog but by no means beaten beforehand.

Kianosh Rostami put up a historically impressive showing and not only won gold but did also beat the World Record. He was the best Iranian lifter in the Olympic however he was no part of the Iranian team and did practice on his own. The head coach of the team was not present when Rostami was lifting.
Sohrab Moradi also won gold but the coaches failed in picking his weight and almost gambled his gold away when he didn’t lift any weight between 221 kg and 234 kg. It was very awkward but even more awkward was when the coaches did throw Salimi’s silver away. Behdad Salimi broke the world record in snatch and only needed 236 kg in C&J to win a silver medal. However he was forced to start first at 245 kg and this gave the refs and jury members the chance to rip him of his second Olympic medal.

In men’s 74 kg freestyle wrestling Hasan Yazdani could not have picked a better draw himself. On his way to the final he didn’t gave away one single point and didn’t have to wrestle for even nine minutes. In the final he came back from a 6-0 deficit to win a well-earned gold medal. It was Iran’s first gold in Olympic Freestyle for 16 years. All in all wrestling won five medals which was pretty much no more no less than expected. For Iran’s sake I hope wrestling won’t be cut from the Olympics but be sure this Olympic wrestling was no fair and in no way in the spirit of Olympics.

In fencing Mojtaba Abedini was one single point from reaching the final. An unbelievable result for Iranian Fencing and much deserved. All his wins came in emphatic fashion.

Taekwondo had two number one and they had great draws since the sport uses seeding similar to the Tennis. Even Mardani had a great seed and draw but all three failed miserably. Along with the bad results the performance was much weaker than expected.

In Volleyball Iran did advance to the final 8 however mostly due the favorable draw. Iran didn’t manage to win any of the tough matches against higher ranked teams and only managed to win the easier matches against Cuba and Egypt.

Fast and not least Hasan Taftian ran 100 m in 10:17 and reach the semifinal. An incredible achievement for an Iranian sprinter.

In four years the good news for Iran is the introduction of Karate. This should if nothing spectacular happens mean that Iran has a good chance of bagging more than 12 medals which was the record set in London 2012.