Iran leads Mid East with Games record
LONDON - Hürriyet Daily News
Iranian wrestler Ghasem Gholamreza Rezaei celebrates winning with the gold medal in the men’s 96kg Greco-Roman competition at the London Games. EPA photo
Iran completed the 2012 Olympic Games in London with a historic performance.
The country’s athletes collected four gold medals, five silver and three bronze to set the record for its most successful Olympic performance.
In addition to the country’s strongholds, weightlifting and wrestling, the country enjoyed medals in taekwondo and athletics.
Ehsan Haddadi’s discus throw silver behind German great Robert Harting was a particular highlight.
“We have never been so successful and the Iranian team’s victories are bringing some joy to our society,” an Iranian student was quoted by the Guardian as saying.
His comments have been echoed by many of his countrymen.
“It’s also nice to see Iran’s name mentioned in some positive context,” another student told the English daily.
Iran was the region’s most successful Olympic performer, while the other Middle Eastern countries trailed from a distance.
The Arab world picked up 12 medals in London 2012 with Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Morocco.
Tunisian swimmer Oussama Mellouli made Olympic history as the first athlete to win medals in both pool and open water events with gold in the men’s 10km marathon and bronze in the 1500m freestyle, while Habiba Ghribi won the silver medal in the women’s 3000m steeplechase to become the country’s first female medalist.
Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi won the gold medal in the men’s 1500m.
Egypt had two silver medals, while Qatar had two bronze. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Morocco had one bronze medal each.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar competed with female athletes for the first time. Saudi judoka Wojda Shaherkhani and runner Sarah Attar had short and largely symbolic appearances at the Olympics to mark the first time that every nation in the games had both male and female athletes.