By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestler Rafig Huseynov (77 kg) has enriched the country's medal haul with bronze medal. The wrestler defeated his Armenian rival Karapet Chalyan (4-1) in Tokyo.
Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestler Rafig Huseynov (77 kg) shared his impressions after the competition.
"I am very glad that I have won my first Olympic medal. I am extremely happy that I finally made my debut at the Olympic Games and won a medal. This is my father's victory!", he said.
The wrestler expressed his hope that the rest of the Azerbaijani wrestlers will also win Olympic medals.
Rafig Huseynov promised his father, who is also his coach, to win the Olympic medal and kept his word.
The wrester has won many titles, including 2008 European Junior Champion, 2011 European Champion, 2015 World Cup winner, silver medalist of the 2015 European Games.
In 2019, he won World Championships in Astana (Kazakhstan). Rafig Huseynov won a silver medal in the up to 82 kg weight category.
In 2020, he became the European champion in Rome in the weight category up to 82 kg.
Rafig Huseynov is a senior lieutenant of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces. His brothers Adil and Rufat are also professional wrestlers.
Notably, this is the third bronze medal of the Azerbaijani team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Earlier, judoka Iryna Kindzerska and boxer Loren Alfonso Dominguez secured their bronze medals as well.
Iryna Kindzerska (+78 kg) won bronze medal after defeating Shiyan Xu (China).
Next medal came from boxer Alfonso Dominguez (81 kg), who won bronze medal for Azerbaijan.
The athlete in the weight category up to 81 kg faced Olympic champion, Cuba's Arlen Lopez.
Meanwhile, Rafig Huseynov (77 kg) reached the 1/4 finals of the wrestling competition. In the 1/8 finals, he overcame his rival Alex Kessidis (Sweden). In the quarterfinals, the wrestler lost to Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan).
Some 44 athletes are representing the country at the Summer Olympics being held from July 23 to August 8.
Nine judokas, seven wrestlers, five athletes in rhythmic gymnastics group performances, one athlete in individual all-around competitions, five boxers, three karate fighters, two athletes, two swimmers, two taekwondo fighters, two athletes in artistic gymnastics, one sport shooter, one road cycler, one fencer, one badminton player, one triathlete and one trap shooter are striving for victory in Japan.
National judoka Rustam Orujov and taekwondo fighter Farida Azizova became standard-bearers for Azerbaijan.
They were accompanied by a delegation of 24 people, along with the chief de-mission of the national team and the sports manager of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Farid Mansurov.
At the parade, the Azerbaijani team was the fifth in a row after Greece, the team of refugees formed by the International Olympic Committee, Iceland, and Ireland.
International Olympic Committee has allowed athletes to temporarily go without masks during the Tokyo Games.
The victory ceremony protocol was adapted to make it possible for media representative to take photos of athletes while they are celebrating the proudest moment of their careers.
Moreover, the silver and bronze medalists now have permission to join the winner for a group photo on the podium's gold-medal step.
Formerly scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 2020, the event was postponed amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite being rescheduled for 2021, the event retains the Tokyo 2020. This is the first time that the Olympic Games have been postponed and rescheduled, rather than cancelled.
Tokyo Olympics marks the second time that Japan has hosted the Summer Olympic Games, the first being also in Tokyo in 1964, making this the first city in Asia to host the Summer Games twice.
The 2020 Games feature competitions including 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX, and madison cycling, as well as further mixed events.
Karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding are added to the Olympic Games program.
Dropped from the Olympics after the 2008 Beijing Games baseball and softball are returning to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz