Baku Grand Slam 2023 kicks off at National Gymnastics Arena [PHOTOS]
Baku Grand Slam 2023 has kicked off at National Gymnastics Arena.
Around 474 judo fighters from 63 countries are taking part in the tournament, Azernews reports.
Azerbaijan's female judokas Leyla Aliyeva, Shafaq Hamidova, Ramila Aliyeva, Gultaj Mammadaliyeva and Nargiz Hajiyeva will fight for medals among women in 48, 52 and 57 kilogram weight categories.
The male judokas Balabey Agayev, Ahmad Yusifov, Nazir Talibov, Rovshan Aliyev, Yashar Najafov, Ruslan Pashayev, Kasim Valizade and Rashad Yelkiyev will test their strength in 60 and 66 kilogram weight categories.
The tournament is organized as part of the IJF World Tour and during the 2024 Summer Olympics qualification period.
Founded in 1972, the Azerbaijan Judo Federation actively promotes this martial art across the country. Since 2015, the Federation has been led by Rovnag Abdullayev.
The country's modern judo history was laid by Mehman Azizov, who won a silver medal at the Old World Championship in 1998.
A year later, the winner of the World Youth Games in Moscow, Rasul Salimov, grabbed the bronze medal at the European Championship in Slovakia.
Another national judoka Elchin Ismayilov became the European champion in 2000 in Wroclaw.
However, the achievements of Azerbaijani judo fighters did not stop there. Elnur Mammadli was named the best at the Beijing Olympics 2008 in the 73 kg division.
The Beijing Olympics 2008 gave a fresh impetus to judo in Azerbaijan.
The list of the country's top judo fighters includes Rustam Orujov, Irina Kindzerskaya, Mammadali Mehdiyev, Elmar Gasimov, Hidayet Heydarov, Zelim Kotsoev, Ushangi Kokauri, and Nijat Shikhalizada.
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