Judo Masters Championship starts today

February 28, 2022 13:45 (UTC+04:00)


By Laman Ismayilova

Azerbaijan Judo Masters Championship starts today.

About 120 judokas will compete in the weight categories of 60, 66, 73, 81, 90, 100, +100 kg during the championship.

The competition is co-organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Azerbaijan Judo Federation.

Founded in 1972, the Azerbaijan Judo Federation actively promotes this martial art across the country. Since 2015, the federation has been headed by Rovnag Abdullayev.

The history of modern judo in the country was written 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, won the bronze medal at the European Championship in Slovakia. Another national judoka, Elchin Ismayilov, became European champion in 2000 in Wroclaw.

However, the achievements of Azerbaijani judokas did not end there. Elnur Mammadli was named best at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 73 kg category. In the final, he defeats Wang Ki-Chun and wins a gold medal. In Beijing, Movlud Miraliyev enriched the country’s record with a bronze medal.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics gave a new impetus to judo in Azerbaijan.

The list of top judo fighters in the country includes Rustam Orujov, İrina Kindzerskaya, Mammadali Mehdiyev, Elmar Gasimov, Hidayet Heydarov, Zelim Kotsoev, Ushangi Kokauri and Nijat Shikhalizadeh.

Rustam Orujov is the 2016 Summer Olympics silver medalist in the men’s 73kg event. Last year, he stood on the podium six times in various competitions. The silver medal at the World Championships in Tokyo is the subject of particular attention.

İrina Kindzerskaya also showed her best during the Judo Championships. The Dusseldorf 2020 Grand Slam final also added additional points for Irina in the judo standings.

Mammadali Mehdiyev is a bronze medalist at the European Games in Minsk. He also finished fifth in the Grand Slams in Osaka, Paris and Düsseldorf.

Elmar Gasimov competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and won a silver medal in 2016.

The judo fighter won a gold medal at the 2009 European Youth Championship, after defeating Lukáš Krpálek in the final. He also won bronze at the 2017 World Championships.

Hidayat Heydarov enriched the country’s record with a gold medal at the 2017 European Judo Championships. He beat his teammate Rustam Orujov in the final of the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games.

Zelim Kotsoev became world junior champion in Zagreb in 2017 and was also European junior champion in 2017 in Maribor.

He won the Antalya Grand Prix in 2018 and became European Cadet U18 Champion in 2014 in Athens and in 2015 in Sofia. The judoka won silver at the Cadet World Championships in Sarajevo in 2015.

He also won bronze at the European Championships in 2018 in Tel Aviv. Later, he won two bronze medals at the Dusseldorf Grand Slam and silver at Abu Dhabi in 2019.

Ushangi Kokauri represented Azerbaijan at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He won bronze at the Paris and Abu Dhabi Grand Slams. He took fifth place at the European Games, at the Antalya and Tel Aviv Grands Prix.

Nijat Shikhalizadeh took second place at the Oceania Open Cup in Perth. He also won a silver medal at the Baku Grand Slam.

Azerbaijani judokas continue to achieve global success, enriching the country’s medal tally with new victories.

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