Mehrzadselakjani inspires Iran against RPC to seal seventh sitting volleyball gold medal

Photo: OIS/Simon Bruty

Bosnia’s men cling to the podium, Brazil’s women also take bronze

CHIBA (OIS) – Iran maintained their domination of men’s sitting volleyball as they beat RPC to add a seventh Paralympic Games gold medal to their collection.

Key to Iran’s 3-1 victory in the Tokyo 2020 final was Morteza MEHRZADSELAKJANI (IRI), pictured, the 2.46m hitter who scored 28 points, including with the last block that secured his team’s gold.

“I’m just taller than the other members of the team, but all of the team is very important – they each play their role in the best way,” MEHRZADSELAKJANI said.

RPC could be proud of their performance despite defeat, especially as they became the first team to force Iran to four sets at Makuhari Messe Hall.

“We train with Iran and are very good friends with the Iranian team,” Viktor MILENIN (RPC) said. “Today we won one set. We could’ve won two or more sets, it just depends on the process of the game. And every team can make mistakes.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina missed out on competing in the gold-medal match with Iran for the first time in six Paralympic Games, but they refused to go home without a medal – punching out a 3-1 victory against Brazil to earn bronze.

After some indifferent results in recent international competitions, it has been suggested the best days are behind Bosnia’s ageing squad.

But Jasmin BRKIC (BIH), one of the few players making their Paralympic debut in a team where some members are competing at their sixth Games, said experience was the reason Bosnia prevailed.

“If you have experience, then you’re mentally stable to play high-level games. If you’re not, then you’re going to break at one point,” BRKIC said.

In the women’s tournament, Brazil beat Canada 3-1 go secure the bronze medal.

“We knew their team has developed a lot, but we gave it our all on the court and this is the Brazilian spirit,” Edwarda DE OLIVEIRA DIAS (BRA) said. “We showed that Brazil is about joy, we played with a lot of happiness and brought home that bronze.”

The women’s gold-medal match between China and United States, the final match of the Tokyo 2020 sitting volleyball tournament, takes place on Sunday.