TEHRAN - A number-crunching Iranian sports official claimed Iran did in fact beat its arch-enemy the United States at the Athens Olympics, even if the Americans won 103 medals compared to the Islamic republic's six.
"Iran won one medal for every 6.2 athletes sent to Athens, while the United States won one medal for 13.8 athletes," the head of Iran's Physical Education Organisation Mohsen Mehralizadeh told the Etemad newspaper.
According to his calculations, Turkey won one medal per 12.8 athletes, Britain got a medal for 11.8 athletes and Japan got one for 12.2 athletes.
"Therefore," the official asserted, "of the 202 countries present at Athens, Iran was in fourth position. This is a good result."
His interpretation of scoring, however, differs from the accepted standard medals table -- which puts the United States top with 103 medals, of which 35 were gold.
The medals table puts Iran in 29th position.