RFL/RE – Kimia Alizadeh became the first Iranian woman to win an Olympic medal on August 18 after beating a Swedish opponent to earn a bronze in taekwondo.
Alizadeh, 18, who fights wearing a head-covering under her head-guard, beat Nikita Glasnovic of Sweden 5-1 in the under-57 kilogram division.
“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,” said Alizadeh.
Alizadeh won the Youth Olympics two years ago and last year took bronze at the world championships.
Deeply conservative Iran has had few women competitors at the Olympics, particularly since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
Archer Lida Fariman was the first to be allowed to compete at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.
But clothing requirements imposed by hardline religious leaders have placed barriers to women competing freely in many sports. Women are also banned from watching sports in Iran when men are present.
Last week, an Iranian woman was initially asked to leave the spectator stands in Rio, but later was allowed to stay because she held up a banner saying “Let Iranian women enter their stadiums.”
Based on reporting by AFP and AP