By Laman Ismayilova
The United World Wrestling has released its first rankings for Greco-Roman event in 2017.
Seven Azerbaijani wrestlers are in Top 10 in their categories, Azertac reported.
Rasul Chunayev (66kg) and Hasan Aliyev (71kg) rank third while Sabah Shariati is fourth in the 130kg class.
Rovshan Bayramov, Rafig Huseynov, Elvin Mursaliyev and Islam Abbasov are also in Top 10.
Becoming a member of the national team in 2006, Chunayev brought many victories to the sports history of the country.
In 2008, the wrestler became European Champion. He won gold at the first European Games held in Baku this summer and became the first athlete to win gold while on active duty in the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.
"Happy Dancer," as Chunayev is known in the American press, won gold in a single breath at the 2015 World Wrestling Championship in Las Vegas.
Hasan Aliyev is an Azerbaijani World and European champion Greco-Roman wrestler. He competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the men's Greco-Roman 60 kg division.
Iranian-born naturalized Azerbaijani wrestler Sabah Shariati won bronze medal of Rio Olympics in presence of the bests of 130 kg Greco Roman style such as Lopez from Cuba and Riza Kayaalp from Turkey.
Rovshan Bayramov is a European and world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. Moreover, he is a two-time Olympic silver medalist.
Wrestling remains the most popular sport in the county and is overseen by the National Wrestling Federation, which was established in 1993.
The Rio Games opened a new page in wrestling for Azerbaijan. The country became one of only two nations ever to increase the number of medals achieved in five consecutive Games.
Azerbaijan left Rio de Janeiro with a total of 18 medals, signifying the nation's most successful Olympic outcome in its independent history. Nine of these medals were distributed to the Azerbaijani team in wrestling, three in taekwondo for the first time, and two each in boxing, sprint canoeing, and judo.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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