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Iranian cyclist snatches gold, qualifies for Athens Olympics

Alireza Haqi, a cyclist from Eslamshahr, a northwestern Tehran suburb, stood top in the individual four km race on Swiss track Monday as he clocked 04.33 minutes, qualifying for 2004 Athens Olympic Games, IRNA reported.

The world one and four km class "B" races were held in Switzerland on July 7. Hassan Varposhti and Hossein Asgari of Iran ranked fourth in one and four km competitions respectively.

On Sunday, Abbas Saeidi-Tanha from Zanjan, northern Iran, qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games as he stood 11th in the world class "B" cross-country event in Switzerland.

Comprising Amir Zargari, Abbas Saeidi-Tanha, Ahad Kazemi, Hossein Asgari, Mehdi Sohrabi, and Alireza Haqi, Iran competed in a 151-km tour.

The first 15 cyclists qualified for the Olympic games.

Talking to IRNA, Vice-President of Iran's Cycling Federation Ali Zangiabadi blamed bad luck for not having more representatives in the Athens Olympics.

He added Amir Zargari of Iran was among the first 15 cyclists while he was to pedal just 12 kilometers but he faced bad omen as he had to change a flat tire.

Zargari did his best but finished 17th, said the ranking cycling official.


Qader Mizbani is the sole cyclist of Iran who qualified for the world class "A" meet.

Mizbani is the first-ever cyclist of Iran who got the points needed for the world race.

Cyclists are divided into three professional, class A, and class B categories.

As a member of foreign teams, Mizbani has already competed in international tournaments.

The Iranian cyclist plans to get more points in the International Cycling Union (UCI) contests and qualify for the Tour de France.

Mizbani is now a member of a Malaysian team and is allowed to take part in the world races alongside champions Lance Armstrong and Taylor Hamilton.

... Payvand News - 7/8/03 ... --

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