Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Women’s handball’s success can motivate Iranian girls: coach

September 22, 2021 - 18:17

TEHRAN - Nashmin Shafeian, coach of Iran women's handball team, hopes that their qualification to the world championship will motivate the young girls interested in handball to follow their dreams with eagerness.

Iranian women made history in the 2021 Asian Women's Handball Championship by advancing to the semifinals of the 2021 Asian Women's Handball Championship underway in Jordan.

“The players did excellent during the competition. We started the games with a loss against Japan. However, we played well in that match and could control the game, especially in the second half. Our players did their job without any stress and even deserved to win the game. Such a performance gave us all hope and optimism for the next games,” said Shafeyan in her interview with Tehran Times.

Iran were defeated 23-20 against Japan but won all their next four matches against Kuwait (38-11), Palestine (52-9), hosts Jordan (28-22), and Syria (38-19) respectively to seal their ticket to the 2021 World Women's Handball Championship.

“We did not know much about the Kuwait team because they were in training camp for two months. Fortunately, we could handle the game against them with proper pace and movement in the game. Against Palestine and Syria, we already expected to win the games and did our job in the best way possible,” she said.

“The most crucial game for Iran was against the host country, Jordan. Two hours before the game, we were informed that I and two other members of technical staff had contracted Covid19. It was a big shock for us, but our players did their best during the game with their commitment and hardworking and earned victory against the strong opponent. With that win, we were relieved about qualifying for the world championship,” Shafeian added.

Iran will meet the Korea Republic in the semifinals on Thursday.

“Korea are a high-level team with the experience of playing in the Olympic Games. We want to keep our players safe and without injury in this game and focus on the third-place play-off match. As a coach, I should be logical. Korea are strong and hard to beat for us,” she added.

To book a place at the 2021 World Women's Handball Championship in Spain can motivate the Iranian girls to follow the sport, she said.

“I am delighted that we could make Iranian people happy. I hope that this success will motivate all Iranian girls and also inspire Iran's junior and youth teams as they are also on their way to the world championships qualifiers,” Shafeian concluded.

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