(Persia Digest) – The Iranian woman cyclist who has made history says she could have taken the silver medal instead of bronze at the Asian Cycling Championships if she had a better bike.

On 27 March this year, Somayeh Yazdani was able to bring home the bronze medal from the Asian Cycling Championships in Uzbekistan for the first time in the history of Iranian women cyclists.

She lost the chance to take part in the Jakarta Asian Cycling Championships due to injury. Speaking about cycling conditions in Iran to Fars News, she said: “Our facilities are not up to par with other countries. We were unable to take part in any competitions for financial reasons, but were able to achieve great results with minimum facilities.”

She added: “We have no club and no sponsors. But since I won a medal, the Federation has been trying very hard to find us a team.”

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Somayeh says she wants to win a medal at the Olympics, and adds: “A standard competition bicycle costs between 10-12 thousand dollars. Mine is four years old. A professional cyclist has to change bikes every year, or update its equipment if it is an old one. We all compete with old bikes. Surely, if we had new equipment and facilities, I could have taken silver instead of bronze because there was only a 12 second difference between the two.”

On the hardships of the sport, Somayeh remarks: “Cycling has its difficult moments, but my love for the sport overcomes everything. I have spent many days cycling distances of 200 kilometers by myself and competed with the hijab in tough games.  This medal was not just the result of my efforts, but those of my family, coaches, and the Federation who all tried very hard.”

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