Iran Wins Historic Medals, Finishes Sixth

Iran volleyball team celebrates the second title of the Asian Games.
Iran volleyball team celebrates the second title of the Asian Games.

Iran wrapped up the Asian Games of Jakarta in the sixth place winning four more medals, including two historic ones, on the last day of the event on Saturday.

The volleyball team won the second Asian Games title after 2014 Incheon games, beating South Korea 3-0 in the final match.

Iranians took 25 points in the first set while the opponents got 17. In the second set the Koreans pushed to take the lead but it was Iran finishing the set 25-22. The third and last set ended 25-21 in Iran’s favor.

The volleyball gold was the last medal Iran won in the 18th edition of the continental tournament and raised its gold tally to 20.

Iran’s basketball team met the seven-times Asian Games champion China in the final and lost the match 84-72 to settle for silver.

Iranian giants took the score in the first quarter 25-18 but gave the second Q away 23-20. Third quarter points went to China with an 18-11 victory. In the last and decisive fourth quarter Iran strived to contain China but lost 25-16 to take the second silver.

Beginning their campaign with a 93-67 victory against Japan, Iran beat four-time Asian Games champion South Korea 80-67 to revenge the 79-77 loss in the final of previous edition of the games and secured the final berth.

 Historic Medals

Noshad Alamiyan ended a five-decade medal drought for Iran in table tennis after winning the bronze on Saturday. In his last match he lost to the world 4th rank holder and world champion Lin Gaoyuan of China 4-0.

The full-Chinese final was held between Gaoyuan and Fan Zhendong, world No. 1, where Zhendong overpowered his compatriot 4-2 to take gold.

The last time Iran won a medal in the Asian Games table tennis was in 1966 in Bangkok when Houshang Bozorgzadeh won bronze.

Alamiyan’s medal is also the third bronze for Iran in the history of the games. The first was a team table tennis bronze in 1958 in Tokyo.

Another historic medal was taken by the water polo team winning a bronze medal after 44 years.

In the third-place playoff match Iran edged China 16-15 in penalties after an 8-8 draw in the standard time to win bronze. The previous medal for Iran was in 1974 in the Tehran Asian Games.

Kazakhstan beat Japan in the final game 8-7 to grab gold.

In the total medal count Uzbekistan, which was below Iran before the last day, seized the fifth spot from Iran on the final day benefiting from five gold medals in boxing to raise its gold medal tally to 21, one more than Iran which finished the tournament with 20 gold, 20 silver and 22 bronze medals.

Regarding the overall medals, this year Iran won more than the previous editions (excluding the seventh edition in 1974 when Iran was the host), collecting 62 medals in total. However, a sixth finish for Iran in the ranking shows a decline compared to the 2010 Guangzhou when Iran finished fourth with 59 medals and 2014 Incheon in which the nation took fifth place with 57 medals.

The first three spots remained unchanged since the early days of the games with China at the top with 131 gold, 91 silver and 65 bronze medals. Japan was second with 73 gold, 55 silver and 74 bronze while South Korea finished third with 48 gold, 57 silver and 69 bronze medals. The host nation Indonesia took the fourth spot collecting 31 gold, 24 silver and 43 bronze medals.

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