By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Five Azerbaijani judokas are in the top ten of the updated International Judo Federation’s (IJF) world ranking.
The leader of the national judo team, the silver medalist of the European Games in Minsk and the Olympic Games 2016 in Rio Rustam Orujov has strengthened his leading position in the weight category -73 kg.
The Azerbaijani judoka has 6,070 points, which is 390 points more than his nearest pursuer An Changrim from Korea. Lasha Shavdatuashvili (Georgia, 5,603) closes the top three in this weight category. In the same category, another Azerbaijani judoka Hidayat Heydarov with 5,043 points takes the sixth place.
Moreover, in the category -90 kg, Azerbaijani judoka Mammadali Mehdiyev holds the fourth position with 4,663 points.
Another bronze medalist of the European Games in Minsk, Elmar Gasimov (-100 kg) having 3,505 points closes the top ten of the ranking.
As for the women’s ranking, the first place is taken by another national judoka Irina Kindzerska in the category +78.
Furthermore, Orkhan Safarov (60 kg, 1,324 points) takes the 37th place, Nijat Shikhalizade (66 kg, 2,034 points) is on the 25th place, and Kokauri Ushangi (+100 kg, 3,159) went up to the 13th place.
It is noteworthy that Azerbaijani national team took the 10th place in the team standings of the recent Second European Games 2019 in Minsk, Belarus.
Judo team’s contribution to the medal count was significant as Azerbaijani judoka Rustam Orujov (-73 kg) won silver medal, while Hidayat Heydarov (+73 kg), Irina Kindzerskaya (+78 kg), Mammadali Mehdiyev (90 kg) and Elmar Gasimov (100 kg) grabbed bronze medals.
Judo became an Olympic sport at the Tokyo Games in 1964, and thus became universal. The International Judo Federation today brings together 195 national federations and 5 continental unions.
Judo is one of the most developed sports in Azerbaijan, where the National Judo Federation was established in 1972. The Azerbaijani judo team is considered one of the best in the world.
The adult judo team of Azerbaijan made considerable progress in 2016. The team won 51 awards in competitions of various levels. The results showed that Azerbaijani judokas won 351 times out of 710 fights during the year.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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