By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
IBSA Judo Grand Prix Baku 2019, being held in the capital, is bringing together 231 parajudokas (163 male and 68 female) from 36 countries.
Azerbaijani team showed great performance during the first day of the tournament and gained 3 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals.
First, Azerbaijani judoka Vugar Shirinli defeated his Romanian opponent Florin Bologna and grabbed gold medal in the category -60kg.
In women’s competition Shahana Hajiyeva managed to take the honorable first place after the final fight against Chinese Li Liqing.
Third gold medal was conquered by Sevda Valiyeva who in the all-Azerbaijani final won Paralympic champion Afag Sultanova.
Silver medals were brought by Bayram Mustafayev (66 kg) and Huseyn Rahimli (81kg), and bronze - by Namig Aslanli, Basti Jafarova and Ramil Gasimov.
IBSA Judo Grand Prix Baku 2019 participants have the opportunity to win license points for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Parajudokas compete for 13 sets of medals (7 for men and 6 for women). The winners receive 1,000 manats ($590), the second place winners - 500 manats ($295), while the third place winners get 300 manats ($177).
Organizational support is provided by International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), International Judo Federation (IJF), National Olympic Committee (NOC), Azerbaijan Judo Federation (AJF), Azerbaijan Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population.
Generally, development of Paralympic sports is one the prioritized spheres for Azerbaijan. This is evidenced by the fact that as many as 28 Azerbaijani Paralympic athletes competed for medals in two sports at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, which was held in Baku from May 12 to 22, 2017.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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