Persecuted Iranian, Saeid Mollaei took home silver today at the Judo Olympic Games. The Mongolian representative went on a tear in the men’s 81 kilogram division barely falling short in the final match with Japan’s Takanori Nagase. There was no bad blood, however, as Mollaei’s sportsmanship shined bright through his run.
Congratulations to Saeid Mollaei. He battled through so much and secured a silver medal despite everything against him. Inspiring. #judo
— Blaine Henry | Fight Library (@BlaineHenryTFL) July 27, 2021
Mollaei’s run to the finals was not an easy one. In the round of 32, he beat Kazakhstan’s Didar Khamza. The round of 16 was tougher. Saeid Mollaei took on Azerbaijan’s Murad Fatiyev by a score of 1-0. That close match gave the Mongolian Judoka some momentum, however.
Mollaei came through the elite 8 and dominated Georgia’s Tato Grigalashvili 10-1. Georgians are notoriously good at judo with their chidaoba (the local folk style of wrestling) background. His next match was against Shamil Borchashvili of Austria. He won that 10-0.
Mollaei dropped the final match and earned a silver medal against Nagase. Takanori Nagase was the first Japanese judoka to win a gold medal since Makoto Takimoto did in the 2000 Sidney Olympic Games. The match was a chess match with Nagase winning 1-0.
The Persecution of Saeid Mollaei
Saeid Mollaei’s path to the Olympic Games has been harder than most. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic that rocked the entire Olympic world, Mollaei had to deal with persecution in his home country of Iran after coming out about being forced to throw a match to avoid a showdown with an Israeli judoka.
With the Olympic Games being the pinnacle of sport, specifically in judo. With Mollaei’s capture of the silver medal, it puts his story under the microscope with many not talking about his story and Iran’s un-Olympic behavior under scrutiny. While Nagase’s win is great, much of the talk has been on Mollaei and his path to the Olympic Games.
Iran has a history of mistreating athletes. Below is our complete coverage on the country’s human rights violations.
- Majid Jamali Fashi: Kickboxing, Wikileaks, and Nuclear Assassinations in Iran
- The Story of Saeid Mollaei: Iran’s Anti-Zionism in Sport
- Navid Afkari Sentenced to Two Death Sentences for Fake Crimes, White/Trump Step In
- Navid Afkari Executed This Morning By Iranian Government
- Reza Tabrizi Faces Death Penalty For Alleged Crimes in Iran
- Reza Tabrizi Instagram Account Seized By Iranian Government, Screenshots From His Now-Private Profile
- Iranian Wrestler Mehdi Ali Hosseini Sentenced To Death In Iran
- Mehdi Ali Hosseini Latest Athlete Executed By Iranian Government
- More Details Surrounding The Murder of Navid Afkari
- Iran Executed Boxing Coach, Ali Mutairi, Torture and Forced Confession Suspected
- Khaled Pirzadeh, Iranian Body Builder, Stitches Lips Shut In Protest of Imprisonment Mistreatment
- Sardar Pashaei and United For Navid Call For IOC Action Against Iran
- IJF Gives Iran 4 Year Ban Over Saeid Mollaei Case
- Vahid Afkari, brother of Navid, Threatened with Execution in Iran Prison
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