Iran will participate at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics with a record number of 67 athletes, 11 of which will take part at the women’s competitions – also a milestone for the country.
Parisa Jahanfekrian was the last Iranian to be granted a universality quota by the International Weightlifting Federation for the women’s contests.
Tokyo Olympics – postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic – will kick off in the Japanese capital on July 23.
Iranians will compete in 17 sports – the highest number ever – comprising basketball, volleyball, wrestling, shooting, fencing, athletics, taekwondo, karate, weightlifting, boxing, canoeing, rowing, table tennis, archery, swimming, badminton, and cycling.
All eyes will be on wrestling events for Iranian fans, where the country will be represented by a complete six-man squad at the freestyle contests, with five participating at the Greco-Roman competitions.
Freestyle wrestler Hassan Yazdani will be the most favorite for a gold medal in the Iranian squad.
In karate, four-time world champion Sajjad Ganjzadeh Hamideh will be among hopefuls for the Olympic glory, while Hamideh Abbas-Ali and Sara Bahmanyar will also be seeking a podium finish.
Iranian saber fencers, Mojtaba Abedini, Ali Pakdaman, Mohammad Rahbari, and Mohammad Fotouhi will be looking to build up on a good form in recent years and improve on Abedini’s last-four in Rio 2016.
The volleyball team, with high-profile Russian head coach Vladimir Alekno in charge, will also hope to emulate the quarterfinal finish four years ago.