By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijani wrestling team has finished the prestigious international freestyle wrestling tournament in memory of Yasar Dogu.
National athletes gained four medals and took the third place in the team competition following Turkish and the U.S. crews.
Wrestlers Murtazali Muslimov in the category of 70 kg and Aleksandr Gostiyev in the category of 86 kg celebrated gold medals at the tournament.
Gostiyev began his journey with a victory over the teammate Murad Suleymanov (3: 2), after whom he beat Selim Yasar (Turkey 6: 6), Boris Makoev (Slovakia 2: 0).
In turn, Muslimov on the way to the final won Ilyas Zhumay (Kazakhstan, 9: 6), then Gitinomagomed Gadzhiyev (Azerbaijan, 5: 4) and Rajnesh Rajneesh (India, 6: 0).
In the finals, Muslimov and Gostiyev easily beat their opponents Mihail Iliev Georgiev from Bulgaria and Indian Deepak Punia, respectively.
Two more representatives of Azerbaijan won bronze medals. Giorgi Edisherashvili (57 kg) took the third podium place after the win against Mikyay Salim Naim from Bulgaria. Shamil Zubairov in the category of 92 kg gained bronze medal without coming out to wrestling mat due to injury his contender Abubakar Turgayev from Kazakhstan.
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.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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