By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani athlete Elvin Astanov has won a gold medal at the men’s shot put F-53 at the Tokyo-2020 Summer Paralympic Games.
Astanov threw 8.77 meters and broke the Paralympics record by five centimeters.
Earlier, javelin thrower Hamed Heidari won a gold medal for Azerbaijan. He also hit a new world record with 51.42 meters.
The swimmer Raman Salei has enriched the country`s medal haul with another gold medal. He finished first in men’s 100 meter backstroke S12 within 1:06.
Azerbaijan’s female parajudoka Khanim Huseynova (63 kg) defeated Irina Gusyeva of Ukraine and won the gold medal for national team.
Parajudokas Vugar Shirinli (60 kg), Shahane Hajiyeva (48 kg), Sevda Valiyeva (57 kg) and swimmer Raman Salei became the Paralympic champions.
Moreover, parajudoka Namig Abbasli (49 kg) and powerlifter Parvin Mammadov (49 kg) won bronze medals.
Azerbaijani paralympians won 7 gold and 2 bronze medals.
The 16th Summer Paralympics Games started in Tokyo on August 24. Azerbaijan is represented by 35 Paralympians (23 men and 12 women), who compete in six sports disciplines. This is the seventh Paralympics for Azerbaijan.
Although the Azerbaijani team won 36 licenses for Tokyo 2020, judoka Ramil Gasimov was disqualified due to a coronavirus infection.
The Azerbaijani delegation was headed by President of the National Paralympic Committee Ilgar Rahimov and Secretary General Kamal Mammadov. The athlete Olokhan Musayev carried the Azerbaijani flag at the opening ceremony.
Samir Nabiyev, Elvin Astanov,Olokhan Musayev, Said Najafzadeh, Kamil Aliyev, Orkhan Aslanov, Elena Chebanu, Elmir Jabrayilov, Yulia Yanovskaya, Lamia Veliyeva, Hamid Heydarli and Orkhan Gasimov compete for the medals in athletics.
The judo team includes Shahana Hajiyeva (-48 kg), Besti Safarova (-52kg), Sevda Veliyeva (-57 kg), Khanum Huseynova (-63 kg), Dursadaf Karimova (+70 kg), Vugar Shirinli (-60 kg), Namig Abasli (-66 kg), Huseyn Rahimli (-81 kg), Kanan Abdullahanli (-100 kg), Ilham Zakiyev (+100 kg).
Some 4 taekwondo fighters represent Azerbaijan in Tokyo: Royala Fataliyeva (-49 kg), Aynur Mammadova (+58 kg), Imameddin Khalilov (-61 kg), Abulfaz Abuzarli (-75 kg), while the swimming team includes Raman Saleh, Veli Israfilov and Dana Shandibina.
In the powerlifting, Azerbaijan is represented by Parvin Mamedov (-49 kg), Nurlan Babadjanov (-97 kg), Elshan Huseynov (-107 kg) and Shamo Aslanov (+107 kg).
The shooting team includes Elena Taranova and Kamran Zeynalov.
This competition is the seventh for the Azerbaijani Paralympic Movement, which made its debut at the 1996 Summer Paralympics in Atlanta.
Formerly scheduled to take place in 2020, the Summer Paralympics was postponed amid coronavirus pandemic.
This year marks the second time Tokyo has hosted the Paralympics, as they were first hosted there in 1964 alongside the 1964 Summer Olympics.
So far, national paralympians have won 38 medals at the Paralympic Games - 9 gold, 18 silver and 11 bronze.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani athletes have won seven medals at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Karate fighters Rafael Aghayev (75 kg), Irina Zaretska (+61 kg) and freestyle wrestler Haji Aliyev (65 kg) enriched the country's medal haul with silver medals.
The bronze medals came from judoka Irina Kindzerska (+78 kg), boxer Alfonso Domínguez (81 kg), Greco-Roman wrestler Rafig Huseynov (77 kg) and wrestler Maria Stadnik (50 kg).
The US team won the overall medal standings with 39 gold, 41 silver and 33 bronze medals. The Chinese team came second, while Japan ranked third.
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