A second day of gold for Azerbaijan at the Judo Grand Slam in Baku

The men's -73 kg medals at the second day of the Grand Slam in Baku, September 23rd 2023
The men's -73 kg medals at the second day of the Grand Slam in Baku, September 23rd 2023 Copyright Emanuele Di Feliciantonio/IJF
By Daniel Bellamy
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On day two of the Heydar Aliyev Baku Grand Slam, the anticipation was electric with the National Gymnastics Arena full of young fans eager to cheer on their national heroes.


The local federation honored their champions as they entered into their next chapters of life. 

The finals started with the 63 kilo category, with Poland’s Angelika Szymanska came out on top with a waza-ari after a close contest, winning her first Grand Slam title ever.

International Judo Federation (IJF) Head Sport Director Mr Vladimir Barta awarded the medals.

"The atmosphere is amazing, the kids here love judo, it’s a very popular sport in Azerbaijan so I’m very happy to be here, to win here and to enjoy my victory with the kids," Szymanska said.

In the 73 kilo category it was glory for Azerbaijan as they got their second gold of the Grand Slam.

With the entire crowd behind him, Hidayat Heydarov finished the contest in style, with a massive seoi-otoshi.

The stadium erupted with joy, chanting his name in celebration. A fairy-tale day for Heydarov and the fans in Baku, and an inspiring display for the next generation of young judoka in the audience.

He was awarded his medal by Mr Elnur Mammadli, Azerbaijan's Judo Federation Vice President and an Olympic champion.

"I hope that my team members will repeat my success here and I hope that there will be more Olympic champions from Azerbaijan and I hope to be one of them," Heydarov said afterwards.

In the 70 kilo category Greek powerhouse Elisavet Teltsidou defeated Spain’s Ai Tsunoda Roustant with an enormous waza-ari, earning her an impressive fourth Grand Slam gold.

 IJF Ambassador Dr Antonio Castro awarded the medals.

The day ended with a third incredible gold for the host country, with the 81 kilo category title going to local hopeful Zelim Tckaev who took down Olympic bronze medallist Shamil Borchashvili. What a day for Azerbaijan!

Mr Movlud Miraliyev, an Olympic and a World bronze medallist, awarded the medals.

The crowd enjoyed another treat on day two with the Azerbaijani team's prowess clearly on display. Ippon after ippon they grew more excited throughout the day, creating an electric atmosphere here in Baku.

Join us again on day 3!

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