By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan has was the second gold in the 2020 European Wrestling Championships being held in Rome.
Greco-Roman wrestler Rafig Huseynov (82 kg) won a gold medal on February 12, on the third day of the championship.
In the decisive fight, Huseynov gained a well-earned victory over Daniel Aleksandrov from Bulgaria (2-1).
In 1/8 stage, he defeated Dutch Tyrone Sterkenburg (8-0) without much resistance.
In the quarterfinal, Huseynov won a victory over Bogdan Kourinnoi from Finland (3-2).
In the semifinal, the Azerbaijani wrestler topped Italian Ciro Russo on his road to the non-Olympic weight finals (7-1).
Thus, the Azerbaijani sportsman for the second time in his career became European champion. The first time he won the continental championship at the 2011 European Wrestling Championships in Dortmund, Germany, defeating Hungarian Péter Bácsi for the gold medal.
In addition, Huseynov became the 11th Azerbaijani wrestler to win the European Championship gold medal twice.
Earlier, another Azerbaijani wrestler Sanan Suleymanov (77 kg) won the gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling on February 11.
The 2020 European Wrestling Championships is currently held in Rome, Italy between February 10 and 16.
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.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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