Aghakouchaki optimistic about Iran wheelchair basketball team in Tokyo

August 23, 2021 - 12:39

TOKYO – Iran wheelchair basketball coach Abbas Aghakouchaki is hopeful to qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games quarterfinals.

The Persians are pitted against reigning world champions Great Britain, 2016 Paralympic champions US, world bronze medalists Australia, Germany and Algeria in Group B.

Group A consists of hosts Japan, Rio 2016 silver medalists Spain, Paralympic bronze medalists Turkey, Canada, South Korea and Colombia.

The top four in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

“As you know, Iran have been drawn in a tough group but I think we are capable of qualifying for the quarterfinals,” Aghakouchaki, who
led Iran to a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Para Games, said.

“We held seven training camps ahead of the Games and analyzed our tactics in the camps. We moved forward according to the plans,” he added.

“We know that how difficult is our group but we want to show a better performance than what we did in Rio. I have to say our team are completely ready for the Paralympic Games,” Aghakouchaki stated.

Wheelchair basketball will be played at two venues in Tokyo. The preliminary round will be split between the 10,000+ seat Musashino Forest Sports Plaza and the 12,000+ seat Ariake Arena, which will host the playoffs. 

Iran will partake at Tokyo 2020 with 62 athletes in 10 sports.

It will be the nation’s smallest team since sending 40 to Sydney 2000.

Since then, Iran sent 89 athletes to Athens 2004, 72 to Beijing 2008, 79 to London 2012 and 110 to Rio 2016.

Iran finished 15th in the medal table in 2016 with 24 medals after winning eight golds, nine silvers and seven bronzes.

About 4,400 competitors from more than 160 countries were set to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics before it was delayed by a year.

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