Para athletes’ health is our priority: Asbaghian

August 24, 2020 - 16:55

TEHRAN - Head of Iran Sports Federation for the Disabled Mohammad Shervin Asbaghian says that protecting the health of the athletes is a top priority for the federation.

The Paralympic Games have been rescheduled to 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic and all events have been canceled since February.

Asbaghian says that the health and safety is their priority and whenever the Coronavirus Combat and Prevention Headquarters allow them, they will hold training camps.

“We are ready to start the trainings but there is nothing more important than the health and safety of our athletes. However, our para athletes have participated in the online competitions and I think this can be beneficial for them to stay fit and well-prepared,” he said.

Tow-time Paralympic gold medal winner Siamand Rahman died in March due to a heart attack. Iran’s super heavyweight powerlifter was going to win his third gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“We were shocked by Siamand’s tragic demise. Now, our powerlifting committee, headed by two-time Olympic medal winner Hossein Rezazadeh, is going to find a good replacement for Siamand,” Asbaghian stated.

Iran finished in third place the 2018 Asian Para Games, claiming 51 gold, 42 silver and 43 bronze medals in the Games.

“Our para athletes performed beyond the expectations in the Games and we could have even finished in second place. We are going to keep going the way we’ve started. We will do our best to get the best results in Tokyo Paralympic Games and 2022 Asian Para Games in Hangzhou,” the head of Iran Sports Federation for the Disabled went on to say.

Iran sent a record 110 athletes to the Rio 2016 Paralympics, and competed in 12 sports.

The country won eight gold medals and finished 15th in the medal table.

A smaller team numbering around 70 athletes is expected to travel to Tokyo. 

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