Under new leadership, Maziyar Mirazimi has stepped up from Assistant Coach to Head Coach and has made five changes from the 2018 team for the upcoming 2019 Asia Oceania Championships. Commenting on his selection, he said:
“We will participate with our full team in this competition. Having participated in several wheelchair basketball tournaments in Turkey and Japan followed by several training camps, we hope to take part in the 2019 Asia Oceania Championships fully prepared.
“Our only challenge is that some of our players who are currently playing in foreign wheelchair basketball leagues have not been able to attend our preparation camps.”
One of Iran’s players playing abroad is their captain, Morteza Abedi, who is currently playing for 1907 Fenerbahçe in Turkey’s Super League. He said:
“I am really proud of playing for one the top wheelchair basketball teams in the world, although I did not have enough opportunities to prepare for the tournament other than participating in my league matches and other tournaments. Moreover, due to the scheduled time of 2019 Asia Oceania Championships, I have not been able to attend the pre-camps of our national team.”
Despite not having the optimal preparation conditions, Abedi still has very high expectations:
“Nothing but winning the championships can make me feel content.”
On their last three appearances at the Asia Oceania Championships, the top spot has always eluded them, with two silver medals and a bronze, something they are looking to rectify.
“Our main objective is to win the championship. Additionally, our other aspiration is to build a team worthy of standing in one of the top ranks at Tokyo 2020. Hopefully triumph in this upcoming championship will help us to show a strong performance for the Paralympic Games.”
Eyeing up the opposition for the Tokyo 2020 qualification spots, he continued:
“From my point of view, besides the host country (of the Tokyo Paralympic Games), Iran and Australia have the better chance of qualifying for the Paralympic Games. And other teams like Thailand and South Korea will probably fight for the third qualifying slot.”
Iran will play in Division One of the men’s competition against Australia, Japan, Thailand, China and Korea, their opening game will be against China on Saturday 30th November at 4pm (local time).
|Shirt Number||Player Name||Sport Class||Age|
|10||Mohammad Mohammad Nezhad||1||27|
|24||Mohammad Hassan Sayari||4||22|
Iran’s Past Results
2016 – 10th
2008 – Disqualified
2018 – 4th
2014 – 8th
Main Photo Credit: Ivan N. Patmadiwiria