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Iranian gymnast Olfati makes history at Asian Games, clinches silver

Iranian athlete Mahdi Olfati (Photo by IRNA)

Iranian athlete Mahdi Olfati wrote his name into the national history books when he delivered a fascinating performance at the 19th edition of the Asian Games in China, and pocketed the country’s first medal in the history of the sport at the continental multi-sport event.

On Friday, Olfati scored 14.783 points to claim the second position in the men’s vault competitions at the Huanglong Sports Center Gymnasium in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

Japan’s Wataru Tanigawa won the gold medal with 15.016 points, and Malaysian artistic gymnast Aimy Muhammad Sharul scored 14.466 points to rank third and earn the bronze medal.

The 19th edition of Asian Games, delayed a year due to China’s measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, is the country’s biggest sporting event in more than a decade in several metrics, with approximately 12,000 athletes from 45 nations competing in 40 sports.

The Games are underway in 56 venues, out of which 12 have been newly built.

Iran has sent 289 male and female athletes to the Games in 34 sports events. Iranian athletes have so far claimed three gold, 10 silver, and 10 bronze medals, with more expected to come as the Games will wrap up on October 8. 

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