By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Two of the three Azerbaijani judokas who performed on the third day of the 2019 World Judo Championships in Tokyo managed to grab medals.
National judoka Rustam Orujov needed only 33 seconds to defeat Vadzim Shoka from Belarus in the second round. In the next stage, Orujov was stronger than Georgios Markarian from Greece. In the 1/8 stage, the national judoka made an ippon to Constantin Gabun (Canada).
Quarterfinal against Israeli Tohar Butbul was quite tough, but Orujov once again proved his superiority with one waza-ari score. In the semifinal, Orujov met with compatriot Hidayat Heydarov and won him again via waza-ari. However, Shohei Ono from Japan did not give Orujov the opportunity to grab gold. Thus, the National judoka gained silver medal.
Meanwhile, Hidayat Heydarov began his performance with a victory against Hungarian Frigyes Szabo. In the next round, Musa Mogushkov from Russia could not oppose anything to his opponent from Azerbaijan. In 1/8 stage, Heydarov beat Eric Ham from Great Britain within 25 seconds.
In the quarterfinal, Behruzi Khojazoda (Tajikistan) showed stubborn resistance to Heydarov but the Azerbaijani judoka won the fight. After losing in the semifinal to Orujov, Heydarov beat Somon Makhmadbekov from Tajikistan and won bronze medal of the tournament.
Thus, the Azerbaijani team has two medals of the 2019 World Judo Championships in Tokyo. The Championships are held in Japan from August 25 to September 1.
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.
The Azerbaijani judo fighter, silver medalist of Rio-2016 Summer Olympic Games, Rustam Orujov was named the best in Azerbaijan's male team. Moreover, he is the strongest in the world in his weight class of 73kg, as well as among all weight classes.