By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
The Senior European Wrestling Championships kicked off on April 8 in the capital of Romania, Bucharest.
Azerbaijani freestyle wrestlers Jabrayil Hasanov and Haji Aliyev grabbed gold medals at the European championships.
The reason for victory of Hasanov was the injury of the representative of Russia Ahmed Gadjimagomedov, who was a contender of an experienced 29-year-old wrestler, performing in the weight category of 79 kg. The judges did not allow the athlete to compete in the final game due to his injury.
It is noteworthy that Hasanov claimed the European championship in 2010 and 2011.
Another Azerbaijani freestyle wrestler Haji Aliyev, who represented Azerbaijan in the weight category of 65 kilograms, defeated Belarusian athlete Guseyn Shakhbanov in the qualifications event with a score of 7:2, and also defeated Armenian freestyle wrestler Vazgen Tevanyan with a score of 1:0. Thus, Aliyev reached the quarter-finals. Further, Aliyev defeated Russian athlete Nachyn Kuular with a score of 5:3 and Moldavian wrestler in semi-finals.
So, in the final, Azerbaijani athlete competed with the representative of Turkey, Salahattin Kilinjsalayyan.
In addition, Azerbaijani freestyle wrestler Aghahuseyn Mustafayev, who competed in the weight category of 70 kilograms, was able to reach the semifinals, defeated an opponent from Armenia David Safaryan with a score of 12:2. In the finals, Mustafayev will face British wrestler Nicolae Cojocaru.
It is obvious that success of Azerbaijani wrestlers at different tournaments including Olympics is not by chance. 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. Nine of these medals were distributed to the Azerbaijani team in wrestling.
The Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling have rich history and unique traditions. The elements of national wrestling can be encountered on the Gobustan rocks, in folk and classical literature, and sagas.
The United World Wrestling (UWW) is the international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling; its duties include overseeing wrestling at the Olympics.
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