Tajik athletes participated in the First Zurkhaneh Sports World Cup, which took place in Iran’s central province of Isfahan on June 20-21.      

Iranian media reports say this sporting event featured 130 athletes from Tajikistan, India, Syria, Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Belarus, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Palestine, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Poland, Pakistan, Burundi, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Estonia, Rwanda, and Kenya.

Nournews reports that Iran has become champions at the First Zurkhaneh Sports World Cup.

Iran's national team reportedly claimed the title of the competition winners with 257 points, while the Republic of Azerbaijan finished second with 185 points, and Iraq came thirst a the event with 170 points.

Zurkhaneh, which literally means ‘strength house’ in Persian, is a special traditional place where men practice pahlevani (heroic) sports.  For Iranians, it is associated with virtues and is symbol of their national identity.

Pahlevani and zurkhaneh rituals is the name inscribed by UNESCO for varzesh-e pahlevani (heroic sport) or varzesh-e bastani (ancient sport), a traditional system of athletics originally used to train warriors in Iran and adjacent lands.  It combines martial arts, calisthenics, strength training and music.  Recognized by UNESCO as the world's longest-running form of such training, it fuses elements of pre-Islamic Persian culture (particularly Zoroastrianism, Mithraism and Gnosticism) with the spirituality of Shia Islam and Sufism.  Practiced in a domed structure called the zurkhaneh, training sessions consist mainly of ritual gymnastic movements and climax with the core of combat practice, a form of submission-grappling called koshti pahlevani (pahlevani wrestling)