Less quantity but more quality, Iran’s Paralympic policy in 2020: official

January 26, 2020 - 16:21

TEHRAN - Iran's chef de mission for the 2020 Paralympic Games Hadi Rezaei says that they will send the athletes who have more chance of winning medals in the Games.

Iran sent a record number of competitors to Rio 2016, being represented by 110 athletes in 12 sports. The Iranian athletes won eight gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals and finished in 15th place.

Iran’s NPC has reduced the number of athletes to 72 at Tokyo 2020.

“The members of 14-man executive board have approved the policy because we can win the same number of medals that we won in the previous edition. More quality, less quantity is our policy in the Games,” Rezaei said in a news conference held in Iran’s National Paralympic Committee’s headquarters on Sunday.  

Iran football 5-a-side and wheelchair basketball teams, who have already secured their places at the Tokyo 2020, will be absent in the Games. Rezaei says it's an effective way to reduce the cost because they cannot meet the expectations.

“We know that there's a lot of emotions about that, but we have decided on what we can earn. It will help us for investment in grassroots sport since we have 2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou and 2024 Paralympic Games ahead of us,” he added.

Iran's best performance at the Paralympic Games since they made their debut at Seoul in 1988 was at London 2012 when they finished 11th with a total of 24 medals, including 10 gold.

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are set to be the biggest and best yet with around 4,400 Para athletes from more than 160 countries taking part in 22 sports.

Reporting by Masoud Hossein

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