By Amina Nazarli
Azerbaijan gained its first medal in Rio 2016 Olympic Games on the fourth day of the event.
National judoka Rustam Orujov won a silver medal in the men’s 73kg judo at the Olympics. At finals he lost to Japan's Shohei Ono, who scored the maximum ippon with an inner leg reap. The bronze medals went to Lasha Shavdatuashvili of Georgia and Belgian Dirk Van Tichelt
Rustam progressed to the semifinal after defeating Hungarian Miklos Ungvari, while in the semifinals, the Azerbaijani athlete beat Sagi Muki from Israel.
Commenting his victory Rustam said that there is no weak rivals in Olympiad.
“Thanks to all those who supported me. I thank my father and mother, that they brought me into the sport. As for the final, even in Baku I knew that the Japanese judoka will reach the final. Therefore I was prepared to compete with him. But in the fight he was ahead of me, and deceived me, that’s why I was not able to use a capture,” he said.
This was Rustam’s second meeting with Shohei, where in previous he also lost the Japanese athlete. “After the Olympics, we together with coaches will improve technique and consider the fight again to see where I lost. We will train and improve shortcomings,” the national judoka noted.
Twenty-four-year-old Rustam became European champion and won the Grand Prix in Havana in the same year.
Being the second in the World Judo ranking list (as of July 2016) Orujov is winner of the Grand Prix (2013) and Grand Slam (2013).
Rustam has been engaged in judo since eight years, starting to compete in various youth competitions. At youth level he won the championship of Eurasia, but failed to win the continental championship at the same level. Later Orujov went to the adult level, where initially acted in weight category up to 66 kg. The first success at senior level came after Orujov began to fight in the category up to 73 kg.
Azerbaijani squad is representing in Rio Olympics by 56 athletes who compete in 18 sports in both Summer Olympic Games and Summer Paralympic Games.
Compared to previous years, this year the country will be represented in four new sports, including triathlon, archery, cycling and canoe slalom.
Thirty-six of 56 athletes will participate in Olympic Games for the first time. During the Olympiad, the Azerbaijani team will be accompanied by 34 coaches, six doctors, physiotherapists and technicians.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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