Iran Revolutionary Guards nurse wins Olympic gold

Iran Revolutionary Guards nurse wins Olympic gold medal in shooting
2 min read
26 July, 2021
Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, who takes office next month, spoke with Olympic champion Javad Foroughi by phone just a few minutes after his winning shot, media reports said.
Iranian athlete Javad Foroughi survived Covid-19 last year in one of the worst-hit countries during the pandemic in the Middle East [Getty]

Hospital nurse to Iranian Revolutionary Guards Javad Foroughi won gold in a shooting event on Sunday at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, making him the first medal winner for the Islamic republic.  

The 41-year-old set a new Olympic record in the 10m pistol by scoring 244.8 points, beating Damir Mikec of Serbia who claimed the silver with 237.9 points and Pag Wei of China who receive bronze with 217.6 points. 

Surviving Covid-19 last year in one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East and having received no formal training, Foroughi is Iran's oldest medal winner and their newest champion. 

"Three or four years ago I entered the game as a professional shooter," said Foroughi in a press conference after receiving his medal.  

"With kindness from God, Allah, I received many medals," he said. 

Although Foroughi has won gold in other international competitions - including ISSF World Cup in Croatia - he said the Olympic gold was "the most important" to him. 

Foroughi has worked serving field hospitals in Syrian war zones as well as at the Baqiyatallah Hospital in Tehran, run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps 

Guards chief Hossein Salami celebrated by calling the shooter an "exuberant Guard of the Islamic revolution", according the Guards' website Sepahnews

Iran's President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, who takes office next month, spoke with Foroughi by phone just a few minutes after the winning shot, said media reports 

Iran's participation in the 2020 Olympics has been marred by controversy following the death of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari and calls from athletes and activists to suspend the country from competing until it "adheres to the Olympic Charter and Olympic values".