The second day of the Tokyo Olympics saw Iran suffer a 78-84 defeat against the Czech Republic in the basketball competitions.
In Group A of the preliminary round, Iran bounced back to establish a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, but it proved too little, too late for Mehran Shahintab’s men, as they were beaten in their opening game.
Patrik Auda chipped in 16 points and registered six rebounds, while Blake Schilb scored 14 points, coupled with four rebounds and five assists, to make the biggest contribution to their side’s victory.
Behnam Yakhchali topped the scoring for Iran with 23 points, followed by Mohammad Jamshidi and Hamed Haddadi, who had 16 and 15 points respectively.
“It's always hard to play the first game of the tournament. We had too many turnovers, we allowed them 16 offensive rebounds. In the second half, we did come back. We need to play like we did in the second half in our next two games,” Yakhchali said after the game at Saitama Super Arena.
Iran’s head coach Shahintab rued the stats at the end of the game, saying, “We had 21 turnovers, we lost the rebounds, we missed seven free throws, we gave them a lot shots under the basket. In the second half the communication between the players was much better.”
Iran will next face favorites USA on Wednesday.
Iran’s Nazanin Malaei celebrates after reaching the women’s single sculls semifinal at the rowing competitions of the Tokyo Olympics on July 25, 2021.
In the rowing competitions, Nazanin Malaei sealed a first-ever spot for the country at the women’s single sculls semifinals.
Malaei, 29, finished the quarterfinal contest in 8:07.32 minutes, behind New Zealand’s Emma Twigg and Jeannine Gmelin of the Switzerland, to book a place in Tuesday’s A/B semifinal.
“My target was to reach the C/D final prior to the Games, but the results have been beyond the expectations of me and my coaching staff,” the Iranian said.
“My approach will change for the semifinal as I seek to be among the best on Tuesday,” added Malaei.
The second day of the taekwondo competitions came to a disappointing finish for the Iranians.
Nahid Kiyani, representing the country at the women’s -57kg contests, was beaten 18-9 in the first round against her compatriot Kimia Alizadeh, who represented the Refugee Olympic Team at this year’s event.
Kiyani’s hopes of a second chance in the repechage round were dashed after Alizadeh fell to a semifinal defeat against Russian Tatiana Minina.
In the men’s -68kg weight class, Mirhashem Hosseini’s quest for a place in the final bout finished with a 34-22 loss to Uzbekistan’s 19-year-old sensation, Ulugbek Rashitov, in the quarterfinals.
The first day of the Games in the Japanese capital finished in glorious fashion for Iran as Javad Foroughi won a historic shooting gold.
Foroughi tallied 244.8 points – an Olympic record – in the men’s 10m air pistol final for a first-ever Olympic shooting gold for the country.
Serbia’s Damir Mikec took the silver with China’s Wei Pang settling for bronze.
Ali Dadgar, the head of Iran Shooting Federation, was congratulated by his American counterpart following Foroughi’s triumph, while the Iranian gold medalist was rewarded with a €10,000 prize by the National Olympic Committee of Iran.
Meanwhile, in the volleyball event, a five-set thriller saw Iran came from a set behind to beat the European powerhouse Poland 18-25, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 23-21 at Ariake Arena.