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Iran and badminton

Iran have embarked on a "catch them young" policy to make badminton a popular sport and have a player in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Badminton Asia is currently helping the Iran Badminton Federation under its Asia Olympic program. The last badminton player to don Iran colours in the Olympics was Kaveh Mehrabi (Picture below)  in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

For the on-going Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Bangkok the Islamic Republic did not compete in the mixed team event but had two players for the individual events – in the men's and women's singles.

Amir Jabbari competed in the men's singles while Samin Abedkhojasteh competed in the women's singles.

Amir had first round bye and in the second round was no match for seventh seed Lee Chia Hao of Taiwan and lost 21-10, 21-16. Samin cleared the first round with a 21-19, 21-9 win over Macau's I Kuan Ao but in the second round fell to Thailand's Chananchida Jucharoen 21-8, 21-7.

Fariba Madadi, vice-president of the Iran Badminton Federation said the age-group tournaments in Iran are bearing fruit. The country also has four national teams – the Senior Team, the Junior Team, the Under-17 Team and the Under-13 Team.

"We have been exposing our young talent to international matches and competed in several tournaments that will benefit the players in our quest to qualify for the Olympics, both youth and summer," said Fariba, who is also the team manager for the Asian junior meet in Bangkok.

Among the tournaments that have seen Iranian participation are International Bulgaria Challenge, the Asian Under-17 and Under-15 Championships in Indonesia, the Swiss International Challenge.

According to Fariba 30 to 40 players starting from the Under-9 age group are selected four times are year for a 10-day training camp each time.

"This is a well laid out plan to raise the standard of the game in Iran. I am confident we will have Iranian players playing in the Olympics," added Fariba, adding that these players are groomed for the future.




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