By Masoud Hossein

2021 year in review for Iran sports

December 31, 2021 - 15:38

TEHRAN – Another year is almost over for Iran sports and it has been quite a good one on the whole.

Two prestigious events were held in 2021 and the Iranian athletes and Para athletes competed in highly competitive Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Iran also registered valuable victories in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification. Dragan Skocic sets a new record of 10 consecutive wins in all competitions and the ‘Persian Leopards’ have almost qualified for the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

The Iranian athletes also shone in the other sports including weightlifting, taekwondo, wrestling, handball and boxing.

Tehran Times takes a look at the Iran sports in 2021.

Iran one step away from 2022 FIFA World Cup
The ‘Persian Leopards’ have almost qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and they will book their berth in Qatar if they beat Iraq in Tehran in late January. Iran have previously competed in World Cup five times.

Skocic have registered 12 wins and one draw in 13 matches in Iran national football team.

Iran football team are determined to make splash in Doha, qualifying for the knockout stage for the first time ever.

 

Iranian woman weightlifter Jamali makes history
Yekta Jamali won Iran’s first-ever medal in the weightlifting championships.

She won a bronze medal in the 87kg weight class at the 2021 IWF Junior World Weightlifting Championships held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in May.

Jamali lifted the 92kg in snatch and 116kg in clean and jerk. She won the bronze medal with a total of 208.

Alireza Yousefi also registered a new record in the 2021 World Weightlifting Championships. The 18-year-old weightlifter made 238kg in the clean and jerk in the +109kg and bettered the world junior record by one kilogram set by his compatriot Ali Davoudi in the 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Ningbo, China.

 

Iran at 2020 Olympic Games
The Iranian delegation finished in 27th place in the Games, winning three gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Shooter Javad Foroughi made history in Tokyo, winning Iran’s first-ever gold medal in history of Olympics. The 41-year-old shooter also became the oldest Iranian athlete to win an Olympic medal.

Iran had finished in 25th spot in Rio 2016.
 

Iran at 2020 Paralympic Games
Iran came 13th in the 2020 Paralympic Games, winning 12 gold medals, 11 silver medals and one bronze.

Iran sent 62 athletes to Tokyo and almost one-third of the Para athletes won medals in Tokyo.

Zahra Nemati stole the show in the Games, winning third consecutive Paralympic title.
 

Iran win 2021 Asian Volleyball Championship title

The Iranian national volleyball team trounced Japan in straight sets to claim the title of the 2021 Asian Men's Volleyball Championship held in Tokyo in September.

After the poor performance in the 2020 Olympic Games, Iran participated in the Asian championship with their young players. The superstars like Saeid Marouf, Mohammad Mousavi, Amir Ghafour and Mehdi Marandi were not invited to the National Team.


Iran advance to AFC Women’s Asian Cup for the first time
Iran pulled off a stunning upset to qualify for their first ever AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Maryam Irandoost’s girls defeated Jordan 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw to book their place in India.

Iran have been drawn in Group A along with India, eight-time winner China and Chinese Taipei.

 Iran’s poor result at 2021 Futsal World Cup

Iran's national futsal team failed to reach the semifinals of the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

Iran suffered a 3-2 loss against Kazakhstan at the Kaunas Arena in Lithuania in September.

The Persians had won a bronze medal in the previous edition in Colombia.
 

 Boxer Shahbakhsh steals the show in the World

Danial Shahbakhsh won the Iran’s first-ever medal in the World Boxing Championships.

He earned a bronze medal in the 60kg weight class in the 2021 AIBA Men's World Boxing Championships.


 

Iran at 2021 World Wrestling Championships

Iran’s freestyle team finished in third place in the 2021 World Wrestling Championships held in Oslo, Norway in October.

The Iranian freestylers won three gold and three silver medals as well as a bronze medal and finished in third place with 162 points in team ranking.

Iran’s Greco-Roman team also became runners-up in the championships with 146 points.

The Greco-Roman wrestlers won four gold and two bronze medals in Oslo.
 

Hassan Yazdani takes revenge on David Taylor
Yazdani defeated his American rival David Taylor 6-2 in the final bout of 86kg in the 2021 World Wrestling Championships.

Yazdani had lost to Taylor in the 2020 Olympic Games.

Yazdani, nicknamed the Greatest, was ahead 3-2 with only 18 seconds left in the match before Taylor scored the winning takedown.

In Oslo, he defeated his American rival David Taylor 6-2 in the final.
 

Iran top 2021 Asian Youth Para Games medal tally
Iran finished in the first place in the 4th Asian Youth Para Games in Manama, Bahrain in December.

High octave encounters to flurry of emotions and historic first ever medals, the Games lived up to its expectations where most participating nations ended up winning at least a medal with Iran leading from the front on top of the medals table with 122 medals including 44 gold.

Iran at IHF Women's Handball World for very first time
Iran finished in 31st place in the 2021 IHF Women's Handball World Championship.

It was for the first time the Iranian women team participate in the world championships.

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