Dreaming of World and Olympic Championship

TEHRAN (Shana) -- Iranian weightlifters finished in second place at the 2020 Asian Junior Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Iran team won four gold, 10 silver and 5 bronze medals, scoring 641 totally.

One of the weightlifters who had a prominent role in the matches was Afshin Taheri, from the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC). In addition to several Asian and world medals, he won the championship in both snatch and clean-and-jerk in the 96-kg category in Tashkent.

“Iran Petroleum” has interviewed Afshin Taheri. The full text of the interview is as follows:

You earned Iran’s weightlifting a new honor, this time in Asia. Would you please explain about the matches?

Many thanks for your kind words. In fact, I did nothing of significance. Like every other member of the team, I tried my best for championship. I hope to have been effective. The Asian games in Tashkent were high-level matches. We were eying the championship title, but unfortunately we finished runners-up. I think we achieved a good result with one weightlifter being absent on our side. I hope that we would win the championship title in the next round.

You reportedly were successful in Tashkent. Who were your rivals? What record did you set?

Yes, as you mentioned I lifted weights in the 96-kg category. My rivals were from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Mongolia and several other nations. As far as my records are concerned I have to say that due to my preparedness ahead of these matches I did not expect myself to gain this medal. I lifted a 161-kg weight in the snatch and 186-kg weight in the clean-and-jerk category.

How come you won the gold medal?

As I mentioned I was well prepared to compete in the matches. I had lifted weights during training. In the snatch, I had more chance to win gold which I finally won. However, I did gain silver in the clean-and-jerk category. Thanks to God, I contributed to this victory and finished runner-up. I promise to fare better in the future.

What was the first medal you ever gained in weightlifting?

My first presence at national matches dates from 2017 at World Juniors Championship, which I finished the fourth. However, four months after that, I won a silver medal in the Asian matches in Nepal. I remember lifting a139-kg weight in the snatch category and 157-kg weight in the clean-and-jerk category.

What were your best ranks in weightlifting?

My best titles were second rank in the Asian juniors games in the 77-kg category in Nepal, third rank in Asian youth matches in 2018 in Uzbekistan in the 85-kg category and second rank in world youth championship in 2019 in Fiji in the 96-kg category and finally Asian champion in Tashkent in 2020.

Do you choose your weights or do you prepare based on the rivals’ weights?

As I mentioned, the rivals’ close ranks have driven some weightlifters to choose risky weights in order to win medals, which would cause their elimination. I chose my weights based on their choice, my own preparedness and trainers’ instructions.

How do you assess the level of Asian games in Tashkent?

The matches were at very good levels like in previous years. Many teams competed and competition was very close. In the 96-kg category there were seven of us who lifted the same weight. All weightlifters were eying championship and they could not be eliminated easily.

With the medals you have won, is it time for an Olympic medal now?

Like every other athlete, I am eying an Olympic gold medal. Of course, I have first to become the champion of world matches. Then I can prepare for Olympic matches. Such objective is attainable and I have to train more in order to get ready.

Prior to Asian matches, you won the Pro League championship title on behalf of NIDC. Can you explain about that?

The Pro League matches represent Iran’s weightlifting. This year’s matches were held at a very high level. We were competing in full force and we managed to win the championship title of Pro League matches and became the standard-bearer of weightlifting in Iran. I have to note that Pro League matches helped me get further prepared for Asian matches.

Anything for conclusion?

I feel compelled to offer my gratitude to all those who were involved in my progress. My special thanks go to my beloved trainers at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and NIDC, like Mohammad-Reza Kazeminejad, Hamid Rashidi, Amir Hezbeh and Bahman Makvandi. Our achievements are the immediate result of their efforts. Without them, we would have not been able to win such honors. My championship is the result of efforts by everyone and therefore its credit goes to all of them.

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Iran Weightlifter Bags Gold in Asian Champs

Iranian weightlifter Afshin Taheri in the weight category of 96 kg snatched a gold medal in 2020 Asian Junior Weightlifting Championships underway in Tashkent.

In his first round of snatch field, he lifted 150 kg weight. He then lifted 156 kg weight.

In his last round, he lifted 160 kg weight and ranked the first.

Courtesy of Iran Petroleum 

Kazakhstan and Syria ranked second and third, respectively.

In the clean-and-jerk category, Taheri lifted a 176-kg weight. For the second attempt, he chose a 181-kg weight that he easily lifted. In his final attempt, he lifted a 186-kg weight and won the silver medal. In clean-and-jerk, he won the silver medal for a total 346-kg weight.

Taheri had earlier become champion in the Pro League matches in Iran for NIDC in the 96-kg category. Before NIDC, he was with National Iranian South Oil Company (NISOC).

News Code 301918

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