By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Grand Prix Wrestling dedicated to the memory of Vakhtang Balavadze and Givi Kartozia, which kicked off on August 7, is underway in Georgia.
On the second day of the tournament, the first medalists were determined.
Azerbaijani Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestlers managed to gain 6 medals in one day. In freestyle wrestling, Shamil Zubairov (-92 kg), Ahmadnabi Gvarzatilov (-61 kg) and Rashad Yusifli (-79 kg) took the third podium places by winning bronze medals.
As for other national Greco-Roman wrestlers, fans witnessed an all-Azerbaijani clash in the category of -63kg. Representatives of the national team Elman Mukhtarov and Murad Mammadov faced in the final.
As a result of the tough fight, Elman Mukhtarov celebrated gold medal, while Mammadov had to admit defeat and received silver medal.
Also, Islambey Dadov took the second place in the category of -72 kg and brought another silver medal to Azerbaijani wrestling team.
The Grand Prix will last until August 10.
Thus, Azerbaijan’s well established system of preparing young wrestlers makes itself felt. As another example, the Azerbaijani national team has successfully competed in Cadet Wrestling World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, by ranking second in the team competitions with 123 points.
All this shows that successes of Azerbaijani wrestlers at different tournaments including Olympics are not by chance. Wrestling remains the most popular sport in the country and it is overseen by the National Wrestling Federation established in 1993.
The Rio Games opened a new page in wrestling of Azerbaijan. The country became one of the two nations continuously increasing the number of medals achieved in the last five consecutive Games.
Azerbaijan left Rio de Janeiro with a total of 18 medals - nine of them came from the Azerbaijani wrestling team.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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