Iran has chosen shooter Elaheh Ahmadi to become the first woman to carry its flag at the Opening Ceremony of this month's Asian Games in Jakarta, it has been confirmed today.
She replaces Olympic taekwondo bronze medallist Kimia Alizadeh, the original choice before she had to pull out of the Games earlier this week after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury during a training session.
The 36-year-old Ahmadi is a four times Asian Games medallist having won three medals - two silvers and a bronze - at Guangzhou 2010 and a silver at Incheon 2014.
Ahmadi had been among the original shortlist of candidates to carry the flag drawn up by the National Olympic Committee of the Islamic Republic of Iran along with Alizadeh and discus thrower Ehsan Haddadi, the Olympic silver medallist at London 2012 and three-time Asian Games champion.
The Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games is due to take place at Jakarta's Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium on August 18.
"First of all, I have to say I am sad due to Kimia and I hope and pray she recovers quickly," Ahmadi told the Tehran Times.
"I am also glad to be given this chance to carry Iran's flag in the Opening Ceremony.
"I will do my best in the Games to win a gold medal."