Iran’s Gholamreza Rahimi beat top-seeded teammate Ebrahim Ranjbarkivajin a five-set semi-final then shot two perfect 30-point sets to claim recurve men’s open Paralympic gold.
His victory in the final on Tuesday (13 September) came at the expense of Thailand’s Hanreuchai Netsiri, who he defeated 7-3.
“The match was good, we’re going to do our best and be stronger. We are all good, powerful men and I like it,” said Rahimi. “The first thing that was important for me is that my flag went up in the Paralympic arena. That was my goal.”
Rahimi, ranked fifth after the ranking round, was the only athlete to shoot more than one perfect set during the eliminations – and both came in the final against Netsiri.
“I am very happy with this accomplishment, but am still sad. I know that I had it in me to win the gold medal and I did not do my best possible,” Netsiri said. “I want to start training for the next competition, for the worlds so that I can do better and win gold.”
Host nation Brazil came close to claiming its first archery medal of the Games.
Luciano Rezende upset sixth-seeded Italian archer Roberto Airoldi in the first round in straight sets. It sprung a run for the 27th seed, which saw him dispatch Chinese number 11 Zhao Lixue and third-ranked Maik Szarszewski, from Germany, on his way to the final four.
He could not pass second seed and silver medallist Netsiri in the semi-finals, though – and was beaten, 7-1, by Ranjbarkivaj in the bronze final.
“This is my greatest achievement,” said Ranjbarkivaj.