Hamed Haddadi So Happy after Iran Qualifies for 2020 Olympics
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran center Hamed Haddadi is so happy for advancing to the 2020 Olympic Games.
It's been 11 years since Iran's last Olympic dream was realized, and after more than a decade It’s back in the quadrennial event.
Iran qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympics after its rousing 95-75 win over the Philippines coupled with the host China losing to Nigeria in the penultimate game day of the Classification Phase of 17-32.
"We're so happy and thankful that God gave us a second chance. China had a chance to beat a couple of teams and they didn't, so we grabbed our chance and took it," longtime Iranian star, Hammed Haddadi told FIBA.
In the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, a young and relatively unknown Haddadi had a coming-out party in the world stage which opened an opportunity for him to play in the NBA.
Haddadi parlayed his impressive performance to an NBA contract with the Memphis Grizzlies after averaging 16.6 points while also leading the entire Olympic tournament with 11.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.
"Listen, I thought I will never be able to make it back to the Olympics again because China is always strong. I never thought I would be able to go back and I am so happy for my country," said the 34-year old.
"We worked really hard in the last two months preparing for the World Cup and I am so thankful for everything. We went through a lot of ups and downs but through it all, we stayed together," he added.