By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan has reached remarkable heights at the first European Games in Baku, winning 56 medals and taking second place in the overall ranking.
The most number of the medals of the Games was grabbed by Russia with a whopping 164 medals, 79 of which were of gold. Great Britain enjoyed third place with 47 medals.
The Land of Fire was represented at the Games with 285 athletes, a privilege given by being the host. However, it was completely unexpected that it would stand in second place, leaving behind 47 other European countries.
Sports Minister Azad Rahimov said in the beginning of the Baku 2015, the country as expected to stay in the top ten.
Azerbaijani athletes participated in competitions in all sports and shined in the canoe sprint, fencing, gymnastics rhythmic, artistic and trampoline, triathlon, and won especially many medals in judo, karate, sambo, taekwondo, boxing, and wrestling.
The energy of the land and the support of the Azerbaijani fans inspired the national team to earn this historic achievement.
Azerbaijan won 6 gold medals in wrestling thanks to Elvin Mursaliyev, Toghrul Asgarov, Rasul Chunayev, Khetag Gazyumov, Mariya Stadnyk and Anzhela Dorogan. Moreover, Sabahi Shariati and Rafig Huseynov won silver medals. Hasan Aliyev, Ruslan Dibirgadzhiyev, Elman Mukhtarov, Jabrayil Hasanov, Haji Aliyev, Natalya Sinishin and Jamaladdin Magomedov all took home bronze.
Then comes boxing, where Azerbaijan has taken 11 medals: 6 gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze.
The gold-winning boxers were Abdulkadir Abdullayev, Albert Selimov, Teymur Mammadov, Collazo Sotomayor, Elvin Mamishzada, and Parviz Baghirov.
Xaybula Musalov won silver, while the bronze went to Mahammadrasul Majidov, Yana Alekseevna, Anna Alimardanova, and Tayfur Aliyev.
In karate, the country earned 4 gold and 2 bronze medals. Firdovsi Farzaliyev, Rafael Aghayev, Aykhan Mamayev and Irina Zaretska became gold medalists. Bronze went to Ilaha Gasimova and Niyazi Aliyev.
Taekwondo fighters won 3 gold, a silver, and a bronze. Aykhan Taghizade, Milad Beigi Harchegani, and Radik Isaev enjoyed gold. Farida Azizova and Patimat Abakarova brought silver and bronze respectively.
Oleg Stepko brought the country five medals, one gold, two silver, and two bronze medals in artistic gymnastics. Moreover, Marina Durunda got silver in rhythmic gymnastics and Ilya Grishunin brought a bronze in the trampoline.
In judo, Azerbaijan gained 4 medals: one gold, 2 silvers, and one bronze. The gold was brought home by blind athlete Ilham Zakiyev. Sabina Abdullayeva and Orkhan Safarov were silver medalists, while Zakir Mislimov earned a bronze.
Four silver medals also came from sambo, won by Amil Gasimov, Islam Gasumov, Vasif Safarbayov, and Nazakat Khalilova.
Two medals in fencing were brought by sisters Sevil Bunyatova and Sevinc Bunyatova. Sevil won silver, and Sevinc got bronze.
Valentin Demyanenko won silver in canoe sprint. Rostyslav Pevtsov brought home bronze in the triathlon.
Azerbaijan is proud of its athletes and hopes that it will continue its success at sporting competitions in the future.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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