Feature: Iranian athletes anticipate success, high hosting quality in Hangzhou Asian Games-Xinhua

Feature: Iranian athletes anticipate success, high hosting quality in Hangzhou Asian Games

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-09-19 09:10:00

TEHRAN, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Iranian athletes are gearing up for the upcoming Asian Games in China, a nation they regard as a "perfect host" for sporting events.

China's reputation for hosting is impeccable, as showcased during the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Shahrbanoo Mansourian, a five-time world champion in women's sanda competitions and a silver medalist at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, remarked that China has consistently been a "perfect host to different events, being the world's best country in terms of holding sports contests."

She added, "I have seen no other place like China when it comes to hosting sports events."

Mansourian praised China for its top-notch facilities, training and food halls, and its grand opening and closing ceremonies. "I, along with my sisters Elaheh and Soheila, who are also world wushu champions, have visited China frequently," she noted.

The Hangzhou competition will be Mansourian's second Asian Games appearance. Her previous outing in Jakarta saw her narrowly defeated by a Chinese opponent. "My main rivals are from China as Chinese wushu athletes are very skilled and dedicated. I lost the final of the Jakarta Asian Games to a Chinese competitor," she recalled. However, she is now more determined than ever, stating, "I am very motivated and hopeful to win the gold medal."

Mina Panahi, a member of Iran's national Taolu wushu team, will be making her debut at an event hosted by China during the Asian Games. At 21, she's the youngest member of the Iranian national team. Despite her youth, she has already secured silver and bronze medals at the Asian and world youth championships.

Panahi recognizes China's significant contributions to sports, especially wushu, and is optimistic about the quality of the upcoming Asian Games.

Sadeq Azarang, a 21-year-old Kurash competitor, is also eager for the Hangzhou Asian Games. Having already won two gold medals in Hangzhou this year, he's aiming for a third gold in his first Asian Games appearance. Kurash, a sport akin to judo, is primarily practiced in Central Asian countries, especially Uzbekistan. Azarang praised the quality of accommodations and food provided during previous tournaments in Hangzhou and anticipates an even better experience for the Asian Games.

Farideh Zarifdoost, captain of Iran's national Kabaddi team, fondly remembered her first Asian Games experience in Guangzhou in 2010. "It was the best hosting I have ever seen compared to other editions of the competitions I've participated in," she said.

Zarifdoost, a Kabaddi veteran of about 21 years, is looking forward to her fourth Asian Games appearance in Hangzhou. "We have made considerable efforts for participating in the upcoming Asian Games and are eagerly awaiting its start," Zarifdoost concluded.