Cal Alum Amin Nikfar Headed to Beijing
July 15, 2008
BERKELEY - Former California student-athlete Amin Nikfar made the Iran Olympic team after he won the shot put at the Flagstaff Invitational on June 26 with a personal-best throw of 65-4 (19.94m). The throw earned Nikfar an Olympic `B' qualifying mark for the upcoming Olympics in Beijing, China, and reset his Iranian national record in the event. He will compete for Iran based on his father's Iranian heritage.
Nikfar is Cal's 40th athlete to qualify for the Games, as the Golden Bears' 2008 contingent is the largest ever for the school at one Olympics - topping the total of 38 from 1996 and 2000. Nikfar, currently a volunteer coach for the Northern Arizona University track and field team, is the fourth Cal track and field athlete who will participate in this year's Games and the 44th Cal Olympian in the history of the program. He will be joined by Magdalena Lewy, Grace Upshaw and Kristin Heaston, all three of which will represent the U.S. team.
While a student-athlete for the Bears, Nikfar finished 21st at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a mark of 57-01.50 mark (17.41m). His toss of 61-7.75 at the 2003 NCAA West Regional inked his name onto Cal's all-time list with the fifth-best mark all-time. In 2004, he would improve his collegiate-best mark to 61-11.00, which still stands fifth on Cal's all-time list. He also finished 21st at the 2004 NCAA Championships (58-2.5).
Nikfar won the shot put competition in Tehran, Iran, in 2004 for the Iranian National team at the first Asian Indoor Track & Field Championships with a throw of 18.33-meters. He also won the shot put competition at the 2003 Iranian National Championships.
The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, run from Aug. 9 to 24. The track and field portion of the Games begins on Aug. 15.