Hadi Saei (Persian: هادی ساعی, born June 10, 1976) is an Iranian councilor and former taekwondo athlete who became the most successful Iranian athlete in Olympic history and the most titled champion in this sport by winning 9 world class titles (two olympic titles in 2004 and 2008, two world championships titles, four world cup titles and one world olympic qualification tournament).[1][2] Earlier in his career and in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Saei had won the Bronze medal. He was elected as member of City Council of Tehran in 2006 local elections and was reelected in 2013 but lost the 2017 election. He is one of the three most medal winners olympians in the sport of Taekwondo.[3]

Hadi Saei
Hadi Saei in 43rd N.O.I.C General Assembly.jpg
Member of City Council of Tehran
In office
29 April 2007 – 22 August 2017
Personal details
Hadi Saei Bonehkohal

(1976-06-10) June 10, 1976 (age 46)
Rey, Iran
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Reformists Coalition (2006)
Alma materIslamic Azad University
Sports career
Country Iran
Medal record
Olympic Games
Olympic rings without rims.svg
Gold medal – first place 2004 Athens 68 kg
Gold medal – first place 2008 Beijing 80 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Sydney 68 kg
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1999 Edmonton 72 kg
Gold medal – first place 2005 Madrid 72 kg
Silver medal – second place 2003 Garmisch-Partenkirchen 72 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Beijing 72 kg
Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 2002 Busan 72 kg
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Doha 72 kg
Asian Championships
Gold medal – first place 2006 Bangkok 72 kg
Silver medal – second place 2002 Amman 72 kg
West Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 1997 Tehran 70 kg


He has been practicing Taekwondo since he was six years old. Having previously competed in Lightweight (67–72 kg), he is the 1999 World Champion and 2003 World Championship silver medalist. When the Iranian town of Bam was devastated in the 2003 earthquake, Saei put his medals on auction to raise money for the victims.

He has been World Champion in the Tae Kwon Do World Championships two times. Currently, he is a senior at the Iran Physical Education University.

Saei officially ended his career as a Tae Kwon Do athlete on November 8, 2008 (18 Aban 1387).[4]

2008 Summer OlympicsEdit

In the first match against the Nepalese Deepak Bista his right hand was fractured during the fight however he did not indicate his injury throughout the entire competition despite enormous pain until he won the final against the Italian Mauro Sarmiento. Immediately after winning the Gold medal his hand was in plaster cast. Previously he wanted to say farewell after winning in the final, but his coach Reza Mehmandoust has advised him not to do it.

By winning his gold medal, Saei ensured that Iran was leaving Beijing with a better result than their poor showing at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, where they received only one bronze medal. Full results of Iran's medals in the history of the Summer Olympic games can be found in the 'Medal tables' in Iran at the Olympics.


  • 1995 World Military Taekwondo Championships SILVER
  • 1996 World Military Taekwondo Championships BRONZE
  • 1998 World Taekwondo Cup GOLD
  • 1999 World Taekwondo Championships GOLD
  • 2000 World Taekwondo Cup GOLD
  • 2000 Sydney Olympic Games BRONZE
  • 2001 World Taekwondo Cup GOLD
  • 2002 Asian Taekwondo Championships SILVER
  • 2002 World Taekwondo Cup GOLD
  • 2002 Busan Asian Games GOLD
  • 2003 World Taekwondo Championships SILVER
  • 2004 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament GOLD
  • 2004 Athens Olympic Games GOLD
  • 2005 World Taekwondo Championship GOLD
  • 2006 Asian Taekwondo Championships GOLD
  • 2006 Doha Asian Games BRONZE
  • 2007 World Taekwondo Championship BRONZE
  • 2008 Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament GOLD
  • 2008 Beijing Olympic Games GOLD

In popular cultureEdit

Hadi Saei starred in the TV series Amin directed by Manuchehr Hadi in 2015.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

He has suffered great personal tragedy having lost his brother and father in the same year, in addition to his younger brother who succumbed to cancer the following year.[6] Saei is originally Iranian Azerbaijani from the East Azerbaijan Province and Bostanabad city.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Saei Bonehkohal, Hadi".
  2. ^ "18th ATU Championships -Zheng Zhou, China - April 26–28". Archived from the original on May 14, 2008. Retrieved August 23, 2008.
  3. ^ Autopica (2016). "Top 3 Medalists in Taekwondo Sport in men's competitions". Autopica.
  4. ^ BaniComm Co. "ISNA - 11-08-2008 - 87/8/18 - سرويس: / قهرماني - همگاني / شماره خبر: 1231191". Isna.ir. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  5. ^ BaniComm Co. (2015). "داریوش فرهنگ و هادی ساعی پلیس‌های جدید تلویزیون". Tasnim News. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  6. ^ "مصاحبه نوروزی با قهرمان قهرمانان (هادی ساعی)". Tebyan.net. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  7. ^ "هادي ساعي مدال خود را تقديم به مردم آذربايجان كرد". Fars News Agency. Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2013-12-25.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Iran Sportsperson of the year
Succeeded by