Azerbaijan finishes on top

Azeri judoka shining on home soil
Azeri judoka shining on home soil Copyright IJF
Copyright IJF
By euronews
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Day three of the Baku Grand Slam supplied yet another incredible display of judo in the Azeri capital.


Children once again turned out in their droves to fill the National Gymnastics Arena and catch a glimpse of their sporting heroes on their path to glory at one of the mainstay events of the IJF world judo tour.

There was home interest in the -90kg final, as Murad FATIYEV took on category stalwart Krisztian TOTH of Hungary.

Almost four minutes into golden score, Fatiyev took his chance, countering a pressured Toth against the edge of the area to the delight of the crowd.

“The crowd, the audience, gave us so much support," said Murad Fatiyev. "It’s probably thanks to their support that I got this result. We’ve already had three gold medals and we believe that in the next final we will have another medal”

Farid GAYIBOV, Azerbaijan Minister of Youth and Sport was on hand to award the medals.

Guusje STEENHUIS and Yuliia KURCHENKO also went to golden score after a tough battle in the under 78kilo class. Though STEENHUIS didn't waste any time once there, a perfectly timed ko-uchi gari in the first exchange swept her opponent off her feet and sealed the deal.

She was awarded her medal by Vladimir BARTA, IJF Head Sport Director

“A gold medal was some time ago," said Steenhuis. "So it’s really good for my confidence to show everybody that I can also take home a gold medal."

The people really like when you throw and when you win so that’s actually nice”

In the under 100kilo category, world number one Ilia SULAMANIDZE didn't waste any time securing top spot on the podium, a sacrifice technique neatly taking Piotr KUCZERA over for the ippon.

He was awarded his medal by Harvest Group CEO, Almaz ALSENOV

In the over 78kilo class, Romane DICKO took the title with a tactical win in the final against Italy’s Asya TAVANO.

The medals were awarded by Mohammed MERIDJA, IJF Education & Coaching Director.

In the over 100 kilo category, Valeriy ENDOVITSKIY ended the event in style, fabulously throwing Dzhamal GAMZATKHANOV for an emphatic Ippon!

The medals were awarded by Ki-Young JEON, IJF Head Referee Director.

Once again, Azeri judoka put on a show for the raucous home crowd! Showing their passion and commitment to judo!

And with the conclusion of this year’s Grand Slam, the world judo tour bids a fond farewell to the land of fire!

Until next time…when Judo returns in Tashkent.

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