By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijani judokas have once again shined at international arena and demonstrated excellent performance by winning medals at the European Veterans Championships Gran Canaria 2019, IBSA Judo European Championships 2019 in Italy, and at Berlin Junior European Cup 2019.
At European Veterans Championships Gran Canaria 2019, the national judoka team won three gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
One of the gold medals was won by Mubariz Jafarov (81 kg) in the age category M4 (45-49 years old). In the final, he defeated Italian Jimmy Cadoce. The second gold was grabbed by Elkhan Rajabli (-100 kg, M2 - 35-39 years old), who defeated Alejandro Garcia Perez from Spain.
In addition, Farhad Rajabli celebrated gold medal in the category of 90 kg, M7 - 60-65 years old. In the final match he beat Croatian Rade Krnzhetu. This has become Rajabli’s ninth victory at the European Veterans Championships.
Mushvig Jafarov (66 kg, M5 - 50-54 years old) and Yaman Fatiyev (+100 kg, M5 - 50-54 years old) gained silver medal winners. Other representatives of the national team, Babek Hajiyev (60 kg, M3 - 40-44 years old) and Mammad Mammadov (81 kg, M1 - 30-34 years old) brought bronze medals from the tournament.
Other Azerbaijani judokas won at the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) European Championships in Genova, Italy.
Khanim Huseynova, Huseyn Rahimli, Dursadaf Karimova, Ilham Zakiyev, Sabina Adullayeva and Bayram Mustafayev were crowned European champions after winning against a combined IBSA team from various countries.
After beating Italy and Georgia for a place in the finals, the IBSA team faced Azerbaijan for gold.
Germany’s Tim Meiss and Daniel Rafael Goral, France’s Prescilla Leze, Greece’s Emmanouela Masourou and Romania’s European champion Alex Bologa had high hopes in the final.
However, Meiss lost to Rahimli in the men’s up to 81kg, while Leze lost to Karimova in the women’s over 63kg.
Then Goral met with multiple European champion Zakiyev in the men’s over 81kg. Zakiyev threw his opponent for ippon. This win secured the champions title for Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, Berlin Junior European Cup 2019 was marked by Azerbaijani final in the category of men -60 kg. National judoka Ahmad Yusifov took the first podium place after defeating his teammate Rovshan Aliyev.
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.
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 6,159 points, which is 196 points more than the nearest pursuer Hashimoto Soichi.
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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