By Amina Nazarli
The National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan named best para-athletes and coaches of 2016.
Best para-athlete of the year became judoka Ramil Gasimov, who become the gold medalist of the Rio Games.
Best Coach of the Year become the head coach of the national judo team, Ibrahim Ibrahimov for success at the Paralympic Games in Rio, where the county won one gold, one silver and one bronze medal in this sport.
Top in children's Paralympic sports are the following: Judo - Ilkin Zakiyev (42kg) and Polad Poladov (66kg), Table tennis - Aytaj Gasimova, and Bocce - Rufat Bayramov.
Zakiyev, Poladov and Bayramov became two times champions this year.
Represented by 24 athletes in six sports including in judo, athletics, powerlifting, swimming, shooting and archery, Azerbaijan claimed 11 medals in the Rio, thus ranking 33rd in the medal table with one gold, eight silver and two bronze.
Some 11 of the athletes for the first time participated in Paralympics. Compared to the London 2012 Olympic Games, the national Para team won one medal less, but in London only seven athletes won medals, while in Rio eight athletes took medals home.
Two national athletes broke a record. Irada Aliyeva in the javelin with a score of 42.58 meters, updated Paralympic record and Elena Ciobanu in the women's 100 meters (11.71) repeated the European record.
In general, for 20 years, Azerbaijan won nine gold, 18 silver and 11 bronze medals at the Paralympics, thus bringing home 38 medals.