Art And Culture

Taekwondoka Kimia Alizadeh Wins Bronze

The 18-year-old Alizadeh won the Youth Olympics two years ago and last year took bronze at the world championships
 Kimia Alizadeh Kimia Alizadeh

The young taekwondoka Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin won the first Olympic medal by an Iranian woman after getting the bronze in -57 kg class of taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Alizadeh, 18, defeated Sweden's Nikita Glasnovic 5-1 on  August 18 and made history to become the first female Iranian to win a medal in the 68 years of Iran's presence in the games, Mehr News Agency reported.

"I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal and I hope at the next Olympics we will get gold," she said. "I am very excited and I want to thank my parents and my coach. They have really stood behind me".

Out of a total of 64 athletes, Iran sent 9 women to the games in the fields of archery, shooting, table tennis, rowing and taekwondo, and Alizadeh is the only one who managed to win a medal.

Alizadeh, who won the Youth Olympics two years ago and last year took bronze at the world championships beating 2012 Olympic champion Jade Jones of Britain along the way, rued not getting the gold. "As the first Iranian woman to win a medal in the Olympics I was keen to win gold, and apologize to my coach, federation and my people for not reaching the first place".

Iranian men have long been successful in taekwondo, with Hadi Saei winning back-to-back Olympic titles in 2004 and 2008.

  Soccer Referees in Finals

Meanwhile, Iranian soccer referees have been appointed to judge the finals between Brazil and Germany on Saturday, August 20.

The main referee Alireza Faghani will be assisted by Reza Sokhandan and Mohammadreza Mansouri in the game.

It is yet another achievement for Iran's top referee Faghani who has judged the finals of AFC Champions League, Asian Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

Iranian Olympians have so far won five medals in the Rio games including two weightlifting gold medals by Kianoush Rostami and Sohrab Moradi and two bronze by Greco Roman wrestlers Saeid Abdevali and Ghasem Rezaei. Iran is currently ranked 32nd in the medal standings.

Iran collected 12 medals (4 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze) in the last Olympics in London, 2012.

With only two days before the games end (Aug. 21) Iran is hopeful to get more medals in taekwondo and freestyle wrestling.