After winning the silver medal at the 2015 Asia Oceania Championships and finishing tenth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Iran men’s team will be looking to triumph at this year’s Asia Oceania Championships. Here’s a quick-fire interview to get to know the team and the man who will lead them at the 2017 Asia Oceania Championships.
Name: Mohammadreza Dastyar
Role: Head Coach
How long have you been involved in wheelchair basketball for?
How did you get into wheelchair basketball?
I came to know about wheelchair basketball through my coach who was at the time training Iran’s national wheelchair basketball team for the Paralympics Games.
How has the team been preparing for the AOZ Championships tournament?
Our players have been participating in several 10-day training camps for the last three months prior to the Championship.
What are the team’s hopes for the tournament?
Our first priority is to qualify for the upcoming 2018 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships planned to be held in Germany and eventually showcase our best performance in Germany.
What does it mean to your country to compete in the Asia Oceania Championships?
It is of great importance to deliver our best performance in these competitions since it is our step towards the World Championship in 2018.
How is wheelchair basketball developing in Iran?
We have launched our national wheelchair basketball league in three series. In addition to that we regularly hold training camps for the Iranian national team.
Who do you see as the main teams to watch out for at the Asia Oceania Zone?
Australia, Japan, Iran and Thailand
What has been your/your team’s best achievement in wheelchair basketball so far?
Runner up of 2015 IWBF Asia Oceania Zone (AOZ) Championship
Ones to Watch in your team?
Iran is one of the promising teams in wheelchair basketball with outstanding players, such as Omid Hadiazhar, Moreteza Abedi and Mohammadhassan Sayari, to name a few, who are playing in prominent European leagues, in Germany, Spain and Turkey.