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Iranian taekwondo fighter Salimi seizes silver at Hangzhou Asian Games

Iranian taekwondo fighter Arian Salimi (photo by the Islamic Republic of Iran Taekwondo Federation)

Iranian taekwondo fighter Arian Salimi has exhibited awe-inspiring displays at the 19th edition of the Asian Games in China, and snatched a silver medal for the Islamic Republic.

On Thursday, the Iranian athlete conceded 1-2 defeat to his Chinese opponent Song Zhaoxiang in the final contest of the men's over 80-kilogram weight division at the Lin'an Sports Culture & Exhibition Center in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou to finish in the second place.

Earlier, Salimi had defeated his Filipino rival Samuel Thomas Morrison 2-0 in the round of 16, before prevailing over Jordanian contestant Anas Sadek 2-0 and Meng En Lee of Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.

Moreover, the Iranian men's national sabre team has delivered acceptable displays of athletic skills and agility at the Asian Games, and collected a bronze medal.

The Iranian squad, comprised of Mohammad Rahbari, Ali Pakdaman, Farzad Baher and Mohammad Fotouhi, lost 41-45 to the Chinese outfit in the semifinal showdown of the senior team men's sabre section, and finished in the third place.

Sabre is a light cutting and thrusting weapon in the sport of fencing. In the sabre section, the entire body above the waist, except the weapon hand, is targeted. Hits with the entire blade or point are valid. Touches that land outside of the target area are not scored.

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.

A record high of nearly 12,500 athletes from 45 countries and territories compete across 40 sports in the Asian Games.

Iran has sent 289 male and female athletes to the Games in 34 sports events.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has so far collected a total of 22 medals – three golds, nine silvers and ten bronzes – at the Hangzhou Asian Games, and currently stands in the 9th place of the tournament.

China leads the standings with 167 medals, including 90 golds. South Korea is in the second slot with 86 medals, among them 24 golds while Japanese athletes rank third, having won 18 golds and 78 medals in total.

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