Vladimir Alekno selects 11 players from the 2021 VNL squad and a Rio 2016 veteran
The Iran Volleyball Federation has announced the 12-player composition of their team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after a thorough selection process by their Russian coach Vladimir Alekno.
Alekno trimmed down the 16-man team at a training camp, with 11 players coming from his 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League line-up and adding one veteran player with experience from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Iran’s 11 VNL players who will see action in Tokyo are setters Saeid Marouf, Javad Karimi, outside hitters Milad Ebadipour, Morteza Sharifi and Meisam Salehi, middle blockers Seyed Mousavi, Masoud Gholami and Aliasghar Mojarad, opposites Amir Ghafour and Saber Kazemi, and Arman Salehi.
Marouf will lead the squad as captain for the second time at the Olympics with young apprentice Karimi also potentially orchestrating the plays this edition.
Ebadipour, Mousavi and Ghafour will also make their second Olympic appearance and will take the lead in their respective positions. Also returning to Iran’s Olympic line-up is libero Mahdi Marandi, a Rio 2016 veteran who did not play at the VNL.
The team will be reinforced by promising talents Meisam Salehi and Kazemi, who had a breakthrough competition at the VNL. They will make their Olympic debut with Sharifi, Gholami, Mojarad and libero Arman Salehi.
Iran's Olympic Roster
· Setters – Saied Marouf, Javad Karimi
· Opposites – Amir Ghafour, Saber Kazemi
· Outside Hitters – Milad Ebadipour, Morteza Sharifi, Meisam Salehi
· Middle Blockers – Seyed Mousavi, Masoud Gholami, Aliasghar Mojarad
· Liberos – Arman Salehi, Mahdi Marandi