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Medal joy for Iran as tragic cyclist is remembered after fatal crash


By Matt McGeehan

Published 19/09/2016

Dedication: Bahman Golbarnezhad
Dedication: Bahman Golbarnezhad

Iran's participation at the Paralympic Games in Rio ended with a gold medal in sitting volleyball which was dedicated to cyclist Bahman Golbarnezhad, who died following a crash 24 hours earlier.

Golbarnezhad is the first athlete to die during Paralympic competition, the International Paralympic Committee said, after a crash in Saturday's men's C4/C5 road race. He was 48.

Iran's eighth gold medal of the games came with a 3-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday's final day of competition.

Masoud Ashrafi, the secretary general of Iran's National Paralympic Committee, said: "There is one bitterness and one sweetness. Today we are so happy because the volleyball team were able to win the gold medal.

"And we are going to present this gold medal to the soul of Bahman Golbarnezhad."

A joint investigation involving Rio 2016, the IPC, Rio police, medical authorities and cycling's world governing body, the UCI, has been opened to establish the full circumstances of what was described as a tragic accident.

The Iranian flag was flown at half mast at the Riocentro venue for the sitting volleyball final, where Iran played Bosnia.

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