Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi answers critics

October 28, 2020 - 18:17

TEHRAN - Iran discus thrower Ehsan Hadadi, who will have surgery next week to remove his heel spur, answered his critics.

Ehsan, who is in Germany to treat his injured foot, has been criticized for going to the European country for his treatment.

In an exclusive interview with Tehran Times, Hadadi has answered his critics.

“There has been a lot of criticism in recent months about why I came to Germany. It was the Sports Medicine Federation of Iran's decision, and nobody, as well as no organization, can question the decision of the Sports Medicine Federation about treating the Iranian athletes.’

Ehsan feels the criticism against him was unfair, saying, “Before my trip to Germany I had not left Iran for more than a year, and I just practiced in different cities of Iran like Tehran, Kish Island, and Mashhad. They want to put me against my country's people who are experiencing a difficult economic situation.”

“They say you are spending public money in another country for your personal goals, but I repeat that once again this decision is made by Iran’s Sports Medicine Federation. Now that I’m injured, I expect these critics support me, not criticize me,” he said.

Ehsan Hadadi, 35, became the first Iranian to earn an Olympic track and field medal when he took silver in the discus at the 2012 London Games.

He was eliminated in qualifying at the Rio Olympics and placed seventh at last fall’s world championships in Doha.

Despite all these criticisms and problems, Ehsan does not want to leave the sport. The four-time Asian Games gold medalist is going to compete at his fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo, and in 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

"I want to win one more Asian gold medal for my country. I am going to win my fifth gold medal of the Asian Games in Hangzhou and try to win a medal in Olympics. Of course, I know very well that no athlete is 100 percent guaranteed to win a medal neither in the Olympics nor in the Asian Games," he added.

Hadadi, who has lost nearly six weeks of training due to infection to the coronavirus, thanked everyone who has helped him throughout his successful career.

“My Olympic medal, and other medals as well, was not just the result of my own work, but also of coaches, massage therapists, the federation, the Ministry of Sports and Youth, the National Olympic Committee, and even journalists. I thank them all who helped me to win those medals. Thank God that at 35, I still throw the discus very well,” Hadadi concluded.