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Azerbijan dominate at second day of Judo Grand Slam

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The Azeri judoka home team took home two gold medals in Baku.


An exceptional performance of the Azeri judoka at the Baku Grand Slam, where they won two gold medals on the second day.

President Ilham Aliyev’s keen interest in judo has contributed significantly to elevating the nation’s standing in the world of judo.

At -73kg, local hero and world number one Hidayat Heydarov set out to win at home for the third year in a row and fourth time overall. A bit of quick thinking saw him overcome Abubakr Sherov of Tajikistan in the final.

Azerbaijan Judo Federation President, Rashad Nabiyev awarded the medals.

“This is the fourth time I have won this Grand Slam, I’m loved a lot by the kids, and god willing I will bring them an Olympic Gold medal,” said Heydarov.

At -63kg another world ranked number one, Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard was also looking for glory. However, after an exhausting tactical battle, it was a delighted Lubjana  Piovesana of Austria who summoned the power to throw for ippon and claim victory.

IJF Vice President, Laszlo Toth was on hand to award the medals.

“She’s beaten me three times before, so, and always in fights quite like this, so I think she’s a really great judo player, I think she’s number one in the world just now and to have her as a friend is really nice,” said Piovesana.

At -70kg was a battle between two former World Champions: Marie Eve Gahie and Barbara Matic. Matic sensationally dropped under her opponent to score ippon and win the contest.

She was awarded her medal by Fabrice Caquin, CEO of Selerys.

The -81kg final was an all Azeri affair, as compatriots Omar Rajabli and Zelim Tckaev faced off for the title. Tckaev ultimately scored ippon and secured his second Grand Slam win.

Michael Michaely, Cedco Hungary Chairman awarded the medals.

Throughout the event in Baku, the Azerbaijan Judo Federation’s “I Promise” campaign engaged with over 4,000 children, teenagers and athletes who signed pledges against bullying, symbolized by wearing special bracelets.

Tomorrow, the heavyweights take to the stage.

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