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Iran strikes 19 more medals at Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games

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)
Iranian taekwondo practitioner Marjan Salahshoori

Iranian male and female athletes have managed to collect nineteen more medals at the ongoing 5th edition of Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games in Turkmenistan, and raised the Islamic Republic’s medal count to 71 at the international multi-sport event.

On Friday, Iranian taekwondo practitioner Marjan Salahshoori participated in women’s individual poomsae competitions, and managed to snatch the gold medal.

Iranian kurash wrestlers Mojtaba Zamani Moghaddam Doloo,  Mojtaba Nikbin and Kamran Rostami were awarded three silver medals in the men’s minus 90-kilogram, minus 100-kilogram and over 100-kilogram weight categories. 

The Turkmen national wrestling competition, kurash (also written as goresh), is a kind of wrestling on belts that has ancient roots, and dates back to as early as the third century BC. Wrestlers need to earn points by forcing the opponent to touch the mat with any part of the body except a foot.

Kurash competitions are staged in four formats, namely round, shootout, mixed and team.

Iranian kurash wrestler Mojtaba Nikbin

During the round format contests, athletes compete with all wrestlers in the same weight category. If there are many wrestlers in one weight division, the participants are divided into two groups. Wrestlers who earn the first and second places in each group will be in action for the final showdowns.

Wrestlers are eliminated from the rest of the competition once they lose in the shootout format.

In the mixed format, wrestlers start with the round format for the preliminary round and then shift to the shootout format.

According to the team format, only one athlete from each weight category of a team is allowed to participate. Participating teams will fight one-on-one in the competitions.

Iranian weightlifter Ali Miri also clinched a bronze medal in the men’s 85-kilogram weight section.

Furthermore, Iranian Alysh wrestlers Leila Salarvand, Maryam Ahmadi and Saeideh Rahimi pocketed three bronze medals in the women’s minus 65-kilogram, minus 75-kilogram and over 75-kilogram divisions.

Iranian Alysh wrestler Abdollah Eiri

Abdollah Eiri added another bronze to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s medal tally in the men’s minus 100-kilogram weight category.

Alysh is an upright wrestling style. Competitors wear trousers, jackets and belts, and must hold on to their opponents’ belts at all times. Their objective is to throw their rivals onto the mat. Throws are given scores between 1 and 6, and the first player to win 6 points wins the match. The sport is regulated by International Federation of Wrestling of Belts “Alysh” (IFWBA).

Alysh has a centuries-old history in Iran, and is practiced in the country’s northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, as well as southwestern Khuzestan Province and central-north Semnan Province.

The 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which is the 5th edition of the continental tournament, opened in the Turkmen capital city of Ashgabat on September 17, and will finish on September 27.

Turkmenistan is on the top of the medal count table with 182 medals (69 gold, 51 silvers and 62 bronzes).

The Islamic Republic of Iran has claimed the second spot with 71 medals (17 gold, 14 silvers, 40 bronzes), while Uzbekistan is on the third with a total of 78 medals (16 gold, 19 silvers and 43 bronzes).

Thailand, Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, South Korea, India and Chinese Taipei have earned the 4th to 10th places respectively.

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