Morteza Mehrzadselakjani, the tallest Paralympian in historical past, helps Iran win sitting volleyball gold at the Tokyo Paralympics


The tallest Paralympian in historical past and the joint-second tallest man in the world, Mehrzadselakjani, higher often called Mehrzad, helped Iran efficiently defend its Paralympic title on Saturday with a 3-1 (25-21 25-14 19-25 25-17) victory in opposition to the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC).

Having now received seven gold medals since 1988, the victory additional cements Iran’s dominant standing in the occasion.

Mehrzad, who was additionally a part of the victorious staff at the Rio Paralympics 5 years in the past, recorded 25 spikes, two blocks and an ace in the closing in opposition to the RPC — the solely staff over the course of the match to take a set off Iran.

He led the scoring with 28 factors for Iran, whereas teammate Meisam Ali Pour contributed 17 and Viktor Milenin scored 30 for the RPC.

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The Iranian team celebrates successfully defending its sitting volleyball title at the Paralympics.

The 33-year-old Mehrzad began taking part in sitting volleyball for the nationwide staff six months earlier than the Rio Games and acknowledged earlier than the closing how the sport has modified his life.

“Before starting to play sitting volleyball, I was sitting at home because I was ashamed of my height,” he informed reporters after Iran’s semifinal victory in opposition to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“After I was on a TV program, the sitting volley program asked me to join and it was like magic. It changed my life a lot.”

Sitting on the flooring together with his arms raised, Mehrzad reaches a top of over six toes, making him a useful asset on the volleyball court docket.

However, he admitted that he feels uncomfortable receiving a lot of the highlight in comparison with his teammates.

“It is very difficult for me,” stated Mehrzad, who was identified with acromegaly at a younger age — a situation inflicting extra development hormone. As an adolescent, a pelvis fracture attributable to a bicycle accident stopped his proper leg from rising, making it shorter than his left and making it tough to stroll.

“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,” he added.

“I’m just a (team) member, I also try to play in the best way … Yes, my physical situation is very important for sitting volleyball. I’m just using my potential.”

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Mehrzad competes at the net against the RPC's Viktor Milenin during the men's sitting volleyball final.

Iran defeated Germany, Brazil, China and Bosnia and Herzegovina in Tokyo earlier than dealing with the RPC in the closing.

Its fifth victory of the competitors signifies that Iran has received seven golds and two silvers in sitting volleyball in the previous 9 Paralympic Games.

“Before coming to this match, I was able to talk to my wife, my son and my daughter and told them that they should not worry too much,” stated Iran setter and captain Davoud Alipourian.

“I told them to just trust that we will get the gold medal today because no other team deserves it more.”

With the RPC taking silver, Bosnia and Herzegovina — which claimed males’s sitting volleyball gold at the 2004 and 2012 Games — received bronze with victory in opposition to Brazil.

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