By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Representatives of the Azerbaijani freestyle wrestling team at the 2nd European Games in Minsk have won two more medals.
National wrestler Haji Aliyev (65 kg) has added a second gold to Azerbaijan’s medal haul at the 2nd European Games. He emerged victorious in the men’s 65 kg weight category.
Aliyev secured the title after defeating Georgian Olympic champion and silver medalist, three-time European champion Vladimer Khinchegashvili 10-2.
Due to injury, another Azerbaijani wrestling Nurmahammad Hajiyev in the weight category up to 97 kg could not fight in the final against Abdulrashid Sadulayev from Russia and won silver.
The 2nd European Games 2019 is currently held in Minsk, Belarus. The opening ceremony at the Dinamo Stadium was held on June 21 and the closing ceremony will be on June 30.
The Games feature 200 events in 15 sports (23 disciplines). Around 4,000 athletes from 50 countries participate in the tournament. Ten of the sports offer qualification opportunities for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
The logo of the Games is "paparac-kvietka" – a plant that plays an important role in the culture of the Slavs. The slogan of the Games is “Bright Year, Bright You”.
Wrestling remains the most popular sport in Azerbaijan 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 the 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 gained by the national wrestling team.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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