Wheelchair basketball to represent Iran at 2020 Paralympics

February 15, 2020 - 19:9

TEHRAN – Wheelchair basketball team will represent Iran at the 2020 Paralympic Games but the football 5-a-side will be absent in the event.

Iran's chef de mission for the 2020 Paralympic Games Hadi Rezaei had already said that they would send the athletes who have more chance of winning medals in the Paralympics.

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, however, wheelchair basketball and football 5-a-side members have opposed the decision and don’t want to miss the prestigious event.  

The football 5-a-side won a silver medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games, while the wheelchair basketball team claimed a gold medal at the 2018 Asian Para Games.   

“We sent two letters to the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and announced that we have changed our decision and want to send the teams to the Games. IWBF accepted our request but IBSA told us the deadline has expired. So, we will just send wheelchair basketball team to the 2020 Paralympics,” Rezaei said.

Iran football 5-a-side and wheelchair basketball teams have already secured their places at the Tokyo 2020 and the Iranian NPC has said that it will communicate with the related entities to allow the teams to partake at the Games.

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.

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