0859 GMT May 13, 2021
Iran’s women’s head coach Samaneh Khosh-Qadam said she is pleased with her team’s “notable achievement” at the second round of Karate 1 Premier League in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
Last Sunday, Hamideh Abbas-Ali beat her Greek opponent Eleni Chatziliadou 3-1 for a joint-bronze medal of the women’s +68kg kumite contests, IRNA reported.
Iran’s biggest success, however, came in the -50kg weight class, where Sara Bahmanyar secured a third quota for the country at the Tokyo Olympics in July, joining Abbas-Ali and Bahman Asgari, despite a defeat in the bronze medal battle.
“Abbas-Ali’s medal and Bahmanyar’s qualification for Tokyo were notable achievements for our team,” Khosh-Qadam said.
“Thank God all Bahmanyar’s efforts eventually paid off as she had to go through lots of competitions [to seal the spot for the Games].
“Abbas-Ali had already clinched the Tokyo quota and was participating after a long-time injury, so a bronze medal would be a decent result for her,” added the Iranian.
“The two will now have a different preparation plan for the Olympics.”
The downside of Iran’s campaign probably came in the -61kg contests as Rozita Alipour failed to book a ticket for Tokyo after suffering a 3-2 defeat against Turkey’s Merve Coban in the third-place bout.
“She [Alipour] is now fifth in the Olympic qualification ranking and we’ll have to see how the situation plays out. We’ll try hard to have a complete squad in the Olympics,” Khosh-Qadam said.
Alipour will still have the chance to win the quota at the Karate Olympic Qualification Tournament in Paris, starting May 8.
In the men’s competition in Lisbon, Iran’s captain Zabihollah Poursheib won the -84kg gold, while Asgari settled for a silver in the -75kg category.
Sajjad Ganjzadeh, meanwhile, beat Mehdi Filali of France 3-2 for a +84kg bronze.
Turkey finished atop the overall table in Lisbon with three golds and six bronzes, followed by Italy and Spain respectively, while Iran shared the fourth place with Japan.