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July 26, 2004

Ehsan Hadadi wins historical gold for Iran in Grosseto
By IAAF, IranSportsPress.Com

Grosseto, Jul 19, 2004 - When 19-year-old Ehsan Hadadi released a 62.14 metres throw to clinch gold in the Discus Throw final at the IAAF World Junior Championships here in Grosseto he not only became a hero for his country he also became a hero for the sport of athletics.

Born and raised in Teheran, Hadadi became the first man from Iran to win a medal at any global athletics competition following a superb competition in which he took the lead with his third round effort of 60.01.

Going into the final three rounds, the Asian Junior champion from Ipoh last June strengthened his lead with an effort of 62.14, just 10 centimetres off his personal best.
The gold medal was secured and Hadadi would make headlines in all thirteen sports newspapers back in Iran.

"Athletics is very popular in Iran, a lot of young kids practice the sport. But track and field is nothing compared to football which is everywhere in Iran. After football, the most popular sports are weightlifting and wrestling so this gold is historical for us," said the team leader of Iran in very poor English.

The eldest of three siblings, Hadadi enjoys recounting how he came to the sport three years ago when he accidentally broke a glass window while throwing stones in his backyard.

"That's how it all began," he laughs surrounded by his coach, his agent and Iran?s team leader. >>> See

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