Rio 2016: Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin becomes first Iranian woman to win Olympic medal

'I am so happy for Iranian girls'

Harriet Agerholm
Saturday 20 August 2016 15:21
Iranian women at the games compete in sports where they can wear headscarves
Iranian women at the games compete in sports where they can wear headscarves

Kimia Alizadeh Zenoorin has become the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal, taking bronze in a taekwondo event.

The 18-year-old kissed the mat after beating Sweden’s Nikita Glasnovic 5 - 1.

"I am so happy for Iranian girls because it is the first medal and I hope at the next Olympics we will get a gold," she told the BBC.

“I thank God that I made history with my bronze to pave the way for other Iranian women.

“I am very excited and I want to thank my parents and my coach. They really stand behind me and I am so happy.”

Team GB's Jade Jones took gold in the event, with Spain's Eva Calvo Gomez into second place. Jones' win meant she was only the third British woman to retain an individual Olympic title.

Women are banned from sports stadiums in Iran and few have competed in the Olympics since the 1979 Islamic revolution in the country.

The issue was highlighted at the Rio Games during a men's volleyball match when an Iranian spectator held up a banner calling for women to be allowed to attend sporting events in Iran. She was initially asked to leave by security but was subsequently allowed to stay.

Iranian women at the Games compete in sports where they can wear headscarves and do not have to wear lycra, such as taekwondo and archery.

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