By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani athletes have won a gold and silver at Karate 1 Premier League tournament held in Madrid from November 29 to December 1.
Irina Zaretska (-68 kg) has won a gold medal in women’s category in the tournament.
Another national sportsman Panah Abdullayev (-84 kg) won a bronze medal of the tournament in men’s category.
President of the National Karate Federation of Azerbaijan Yashar Bashirov participated in the awarding ceremony of athletes.
As many as 737 karate athletes from 89 countries competed in the tournament in Spain. Athletes earned Olympic rating points, along with world rankings, based on each victory and medal score. Azerbaijani referees Jahangir Babayev and Vugar Karimov were also among the tournament’s referees.
Athletes who were distinguished by the end of the year also received "Grand Winners" award. According to the 2019 season results, well-known Azerbaijani karatekas Rafael Aghayev (-75 kg) and Irina Zaretska (-68 kg) were among the Grand Winners. The award presentation will take place on January 24-26, 2020 in Paris, which will host the first Premier League tournament of the next season.
Over the past years, Azerbaijani karate athletes have won a number of prestigious international tournaments, European and World Championships.
Azerbaijan boasts with the number of its world-known karatekas. Among them are five-time World Champion, and eleven-time European Champion Rafael Agayev, World Champions Israfil Shirinov, Aykhan Mamayev, Europe Champions Parviz Abdulkarimov, Jeyhun Aghasiyev, Rustam Madatov, Fayyaz Ildirimzade, Niyazi Aliyev and Asiman Gurbanli, bronze medalists of European Championship Amal Atayev, Yusif Jafarov, Shahin Atamov, Rashad Huseynov and Ilaha Gasımova are member of the national team.
The National Karate Federation of Azerbaijan, founded in 1994, became a full member of the World Karate Federation in 1997. WKF is the largest and most powerful karate organization in the world, comprising 183 countries and more than 50 million members. In 1996, the National Karate Federation joined the European Karate Federation (EKF).
WKF is the only karate federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee, whose main objective is to combine the basic style of karate under the general rules of the competition and enter into the program of the Olympic Games.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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