An Iranian athlete refused to shake the Duchess of Cambridge’s hand after she presented him with his discus silver medal on Sunday. The Royal was warmly received on the podium by Paralympic GB’s gold medal winner Aled Davies and Chinese bronze medallist Lezheng Wang. But when it was Mehrdad Karam Zadeh’s turn to step up, the 40-year-old failed to offer a hand to the Duchess, clutching them close to his chest.
His decision not to shake hands with the Duchess was likely to have been a result of Iranian cultural convention which bans such contact between unrelated men and women. The Duchess appeared to have been briefed on the situation, because she did not offer her hand either. The incident threatened to overshadow a glittering night for Paralympics GB, which enjoyed its most successful day of the Games so far with seven gold medals.