Foroughi strikes gold in the men's 10m air pistol final
24 Jul 2021
Javad Foroughi removes his protective mask after winning the gold medal in Tokyo. AP
Gulf Today Report
Braving all odds, Javad Foroughi becomes the oldest Iranian athlete to win an Olympic medal, earning gold in men’s 10-meter air pistol.
Growing up with a defect by birth that made his heart pump too hard, Foroughi was unable to participate in most sports.
After getting his heart condition under control, he became hooked on shooting, learning to fire a pistol in the hospital basement. He trained after finishing his night shifts and turned himself into an elite shooter.
The ace shooter Foroughi, who won two World Cups earlier this year, spent his nights caring for gravely ill patients, doing everything he could to help them breathe. Many didn›t make it.
Foroughi contracted COVID-19 himself, recovered and feared he would catch it again while doing his job.
Amid all the horrors and difficulties, the shooter never let his goal blur from focus.
Now the Iranian nurse is an Olympic champion. Unshaken in his first Games, Foroughi became Iran›s oldest medalist and set a record in the process, earning gold in the men›s 10-meter air pistol Saturday at the Tokyo Olympics.
«I›m very happy I did my job on both sides,” Foroughi said through an interpreter. «As a nurse, we battled COVID and it was very hard. As a shooter, I worked a lot the last two years for this moment.”
Foroughi also set an Olympic record with 244.8 points, finishing 6.9 ahead of Serbia›s Damir Mikec. China’s Pang Wei, the 2008 gold medalist, took bronze.
The 41-year-old Foroughi surpasses Iranian weightlifter Mahmoud Namdjou, who was 38 when he got bronze at the 1956 Melbourne Games.
The journey to the top step of the Olympic podium was an unlikely one.
Foroughi contracted COVID-19 early in the pandemic and was unable to train for a month. Shutdowns left him nowhere to shoot once he recovered, so he worked on body and mind training. He eventually was able to train and compete online with other shooters, honing his craft so he would be ready when in-person competitions resumed. Javad Foroughi removes his protective mask after winning the gold medal in Tokyo. AP