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Iranian Paralympians at the opening ceremony of the games, September 7.
Iranian Paralympians at the opening ceremony of the games, September 7.

Iran Starts 2016 Rio Paralympics With Silver

Iran is attending with 111 athletes, 23 women and 88 men, in 12 fields, and is vying for colorful medals at least in the athletics, archery and powerlifting fields

Iran Starts 2016 Rio Paralympics With Silver

Iran won its first medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on the first day of the event. Saman Pakbaz took silver in the shot put category of track and field.

He took the silver in the men’s shot put - F12 on September 8, by throwing 15.98 meters, 46 centimeters short of Spain’s Kim Lopez Gonzalez who won the gold medal with a throw of 16.44 meters, varzesh3.com reported.

Another Iranian athlete Younes Seifipour came in fifth in the men’s shot put - F32.

In swimming, Shahin Izadyar finished 7th in the preliminary stage and qualified for the finals.

Iran’s 7-a-side football team beat Argentina 3-1 in their first group match and Iran’s wheelchair basketball team overpowered Germany 69-63 in their first game in Group B.

The 2016 Paralympics opened at the Maracana stadium on September 7 with the march of nations including the Iranian squad led by Eshrat Kordestani, a member of women’s sitting volleyball team.

Iran is attending with 111 athletes, 23 women and 88 men, in 12 fields, archery, athletics, cycling, 5-a-side football, 7-a-side football, judo, paracanoeing, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

The Iranian delegation was ranked 11th in the previous round of the games in 2012 London, winning 24 medals - 10 gold, 7 silver and 7 bronze.

With the only silver so far, Iran is standing on the 27th spot in the medal table but more medals are expected as Iran has normally performed well in such games.

  Potential Medalists

Among the highly potential gold winners for Iran are powerlifter Siamand Rahman and archer Zahra Nemati.

Rahman is labeled the “strongest Paralympian on the planet” by the International Paralympics Committee and is set to lift 300kg.

Nemati, 31, became the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic or Paralympic gold medal when she won individual recurve W1/W2 in London four years ago.

Her performance at the 2015 Asian Archery Championships in Thailand ensured her qualification for both the Rio Olympics and Paralympics. She was Iran’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Rio Games in August.

Iran’s national Paralympics Committee made its debut at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games. So far, Iran has attended seven editions of the games and won 112 medals.

Paralympics is a major international multi-sport event for athletes with disabilities governed by the International Paralympics Committee.

Over 4,500 athletes from 175 countries are participating in this year’s event.

Currently China stands atop the medal list with 20 medals followed by the UK (11), Uzbekistan and the US (8) and Brazil (4).

The games end on September 18.

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