A men’s volleyball gold brought the curtain down on Iran’s campaign at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, taking the country’s gold tally to 20.
Iran, yet to concede a set before the final showpiece, kept up the momentum against South Korea and came out victorious 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21) to claim the second successive gold of the men’s volleyball – having beaten Japan in the final in Incheon 2014.
Ali Shafiei made the biggest contribution to Iran’s victory in the final with 16 points while Morteza Sharifi chipped in 14 points and Amir Ghafour and Milad Ebadipour also scored 12 apiece.
In the third-place battle, Chinese Taipei beat Qatar 3-1 to win the bronze.
Also on the final day of the competitions, Iran’s basketball team was beaten 72-84 in the men’s final to take the silver medal.
Iran, led by Hamed Haddadi – who topped the scoring chart with 27 points, 10 rebounds and three assists – got off to a flying start and won the first quarter 25-18 and even extended the lead to 34-22 in the second quarter.
However, China which had a 59 percent ratio of successful three-pointers with 13 – against Iran’s four – bounced back to take the second quarter 23-20 before winning the third and fourth 18-11 and 25-16, respectively.
The medal gave Iran the second consecutive silver of the men’s basketball in the Games as Iran was also beaten in the final in Incheon by the host South Korea.
Also on Saturday, Iran’s Noshad Alamian claimed a precious men’s singles’ bronze at the table tennis competition while the country’s water polo team overcame China to also finish third in the Games.
Alamian, ranked 78 in the world, suffered a 4-0 (12-10, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2) defeat against world’s No. 4 Lin Gaoyuan of China in the semifinals to settle for a joint third-spot finish along with South Korean Lee Sang-su.
Gaoyuan was then beaten 4-2 in the final by his fellow Chinese and world No. 1 Fan Zhendong to grab the silver.
Alamian’s bronze ended the country’s 52-year wait for a table tennis singles’ medal in the Games as Houshang Bozorgzadeh had last won a bronze in 1966 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In the water polo games, the country’s 44-year medal drought also came to an end when Iran beat China 8-7 in the penalty shootouts after the third-place match had finished 8-8 in the normal time.
Kazakhstan beat Japan 8-7 in the men’s final and won the gold.
A total of 62 medals – comprising 20 golds, 20 silvers and 22 bronze medals – gave Iran a sixth-place finish in the overall medals table at the end of the 18th edition of the Games which officially finishes today with when the closing ceremony is held at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
China dominated the standings with 287 medals – including 131 golds – while Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Uzbekistan stood second to fifth, respectively.