Iranian official speaks highly of Hangzhou Asian Games

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A top Iranian sports official believes that the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games will be the best edition in terms of hosting quality in the history of the multi-sport event.

Secretary-General of Iran's National Olympic Committee (NOC) Seyed Manaf Hashemi made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency on the sidelines of an event held at the Chinese Embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran on Monday to promote the cultural heritage and tourism of China's eastern Zhejiang province in the run-up to the Hangzhou Asian Games.

"I have been to China a couple of times and witnessed the way the Chinese host sports events in person," he said, adding, the hosting of the upcoming Asian Games is going to be very different from the other ones. "I have visited Hangzhou and seen, in person, the facilities and preparations they have provided and made for holding the competitions."

Hashemi described China's hosting of sports events as "perfect," stressing that the Chinese pursue a number of objectives through hosting sports competitions, including promoting tourism, presenting the country's capacities and potential in different areas, including the field of art, as well as boosting their foreign trade, interactions and economy.

On bilateral cooperation in the sports sector, he said Iran seeks to have good interactions with China in the area, noting, "We even seek to make use of China's expertise and capacities in the area of standardizing Iranian sports halls and facilities belonging to those federations whose athletes are sent to the Asian and Olympic Games."

Hashemi thanked China for hosting the Asian Games, emphasizing that the country, its government and people have always been the best hosts to different events and very hospitable.

He expressed hope that Iranian athletes would manage to achieve favorable results in the upcoming competitions thanks to China's good hosting.

The NOC secretary-general expressed confidence that the good relations between Iran and China will definitely be further strengthened through such events and occasions and the two countries' friendship in the field of sport will expand, which per se will lead to the improvement of their trade and economic ties in parallel.

The event at the embassy was organized by the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, and attended by Chinese and Iranian officials, as well as the Iranian athletes who are going to take part in the Hangzhou Asian Games.

In an address to the event, Hashemi said Iran will dispatch a cultural and sports delegation to the competitions, comprising close to 520 people, of which 450 are athletes and coaches.

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