By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Cadet Wrestling World Championships is underway in Sofia, Bulgaria between July 29 and August 4.
Azerbaijani freestyle wrestler Jabrayil Hajiyev became the world champion in the category of 65 kg.
In the final, the national wrestler defeated Russian Batyrbek Tskhovrebov with the score of 6:4 and took the first podium place. On the way to the final, Hajiyev defeated Turkish Mikail Topal (11:5), Irani Amir Hossein Reza Motaghi (4:3), Japanese Ryosuke Kera (6:4) and Georgian Davit Patsinashvili (7:7 win due to less penalty points).
Hajiyev also achieved success in the recent Baku 2019 Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) where he also celebrated a gold medal.
In the weight category of up to 48 kilograms of Cadet Wrestling World Championships, another Azerbaijani wrestler Javid Javadov stopped one step away from the podium, losing in the fight for third place to the representative of India, Udit Udit, with a score of 2:11.
In addition, two Azerbaijani wrestlers will compete for the bronze medals of the tournament. One of the contenders is Murad Hagverdiev (45 kilograms), who has already beaten Magamed Magamedov (Georgia, 10: 0) and Vladimir Gienko (Russia, 9:4), but was defeated by Ali Mehran Arab Firouzjae Ali Firuzai (Iran, 0: 5). Hagverdiev will challenge the winner of the pair Stefan Shterjov (Macedonia) - Vladislav Nikandrov (Kyrgyzstan) for bronze medal.
Another bronze medal can be taken by Farhad Karimli in the category of 60 kg. The Azerbaijani wrestler defeated Arsim Bekirovski from Macedonia (11:0) and Wayne Mendez from U.S. (8:1), but lost in the semifinal to Irani Erfan Mohammad Elahi (2:12). In the fight for the third place, Karimli will face the winner of the pair Genik Asatryan (Armenia) - Yoshinosuke Aoyagi (Japan).
Azerbaijani national wrestling team took the first place of medal table of the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival which has been recently held at Baku.
National wresters grabbed 16 medals, 8 of them were gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze. Murad Hagverdiyev (Boys Freestyle 45 kg), Kanan Heybatov (Boys Freestyle 51Kg), Jabrayil Hajiyev (Boys Freestyle 65Kg), Farid Sadikhli (Boys Greco-Roman 45Kg), Gurban Gurbanov (Boys Greco-Roman 48Kg), Elmir Aliyev (Boys Greco-Roman 51Kg), Hasrat Jafarov (Boys Greco-Roman 60Kg), Khasay Hasanli (Boys Greco-Roman 65Kg) managed to win gold medals.
Moreover, the Azerbaijani wrestling team has recently 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. teams.
Wrestlers Murtazali Muslimov in the category of 70 kg and Aleksandr Gostiyev in the category of 86 kg celebrated gold medals at the tournament.
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 the wrestling mat due to injury of 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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