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Leader lauds Iranian Paralympians, regrets cyclist’s death

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei (Photo by

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has praised Iranian athletes for their outstanding performance during the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and expressed sorrow over the demise of Iranian Paralympic cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad following a crash.

“Mina Martyrs’ Paralympic delegation, you brought honor and delight upon the nation. You spread the majesty of the defenseless Mina martyrs across the world. You paraded the sacred Ihram attire before the enemies of Islamic rites. I express my sincere gratitude and appreciation.

“I hope you will as ever remain committed to religious principles with the self-confidence that you all deserve. The tragic incident for the war-disabled and war veteran sportsman, beloved Bahrman Golbarnezhad, made me mournful and sorrowful,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote in a message on Monday.

Late Iranian Paralympic cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad

Golbarnezhad died following a crash that happened at around 10:40 a.m. local time (0740 GMT) on Saturday during the men’s C4/C5 road race. He was going down a steep hill on the first section of the mountainous Grumari loop, when the mishap took place.

The 48-year-old Iranian champion received treatment at the scene, and suffered a cardiac arrest as he was being transferred to hospital. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Unimed Rio Hospital in Barra.

Iranian Paralympic delegation, dubbed Mina, parades during the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 7, 2016.

The Iranian Paralympic delegation, dubbed Mina after the victims of the deadly crush in Saudi Arabia during Hajj pilgrimage last year, managed to clinch 24 medals, eight gold, nine silvers and seven bronzes, placing the Islamic Republic in the 16th slot of the medal count table.

China stood on top of the medal count table with 239 medals (107 gold, 81 silvers and 51 bronzes).

Britain claimed the second spot with 147 medals (64 gold, 39 silvers, 44 bronzes). Ukraine was on the third with a total of 117 medals (41 gold, 37 silvers and 39 bronzes.)

The United States, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Poland were in the 4th to 10th places respectively.

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