Azerbaijan’s ‘black brilliant' crowned 11-time European champion
By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan’s ‘black brilliant’ Rafael Agayev became European champion for the 11th time.
The 33-year-old karate fighter won a gold medal at the 53rd EKF Senior Championships in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Agayev, also a 5-time world champion, secured the medal after defeating a Hungarian rival in the 75kg weight class.
Shahin Atamov progressed to the over-84kg final by beating Spain’s Babacar Seck Sakho. Irina Zaretska reached the under-68kg final by overcoming Macedonia’s Angela Mojsovska 7-0. Nurana Aliyeva (50 kg) and Roman Heydarov took bronze medals in kumite.
The event in Novi Sad is the biggest continental championship ever organized in Europe. More than 650 karate fighters competed as members of 52 national teams in Serbia on May 10-13.
Rafael Agayev, nicknamed “Black brilliant of the world karate”, has managed to achieve all of the highest sporting victories in karate; he is a multiple European Champion and
For outstanding sports achievements, he repeatedly has received awards from the leadership of the National Olympic Committee, the Youth and Sport Ministry of Azerbaijan Republic.
In 2013, Azerbaijani karate fighter Aykhan Mamayev won a first gold medal for the Azerbaijani team at the Islamic Solidarity Games being held in Palembang, Indonesia.
Moreover, this year Mamayev became the winner of the 30th International Bosphorous Karate Tournament held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Shahin Atamov is a two-time vice-champion of the world, winner of three European championships. He is a member of the Azerbaijani national karate team. The karate fighter is the winner of the World Martial Arts Games 2013.
National karate fighter Irina Zaretskaya is known for numerous victories at the international area.
Irina managed to achieve very impressive results. She is the owner of the gold medal at the Premier League Karate1 2014 in Almere, bronze at "World Karate Cup 2014", gold at the Premier League Karate1 2015 in Istanbul, silver at the Premier League Karate1 2017, etc.
Nurana Aliyeva is a bronze medalist of the European Women's Karate Championship. She is also a participant of Baku Islamic Games. Roman Heydarov of Azerbaijan competed in the Mens Karate Kata during day Baku Islamic Solidarity Games.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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