Agayev leads Azerbaijan charge in karate

13 May 2017
Azerbaijan's Rafael Aghayev celebrates after winning the Gold medal during the men's Karate Kumite -75kg event at the Baku 2017.
Azerbaijan's Rafael Aghayev (L) competes against Pakistan's Saadi Ghulam Abbas to win the Gold medal during the men's Karate Kumite -75kg event at the Baku 2017 .

Azerbaijan hero Rafael Agayev lead the way for the 2017 Islamic Games hosts, who finished the first day of the karate competition in Baku with four medals, two of them gold.

Five-time world champion Agayev and sensation Farida Abiyeva both bagged gold medals while Ilaha Gasimova managed silver, equaling her 2015 European Games best, and Firdovski Farzaliev got bronze.

The 32-year-old Agayev easily disposed of his earlier opponents 3-0, 7-2 and 5-0 before the final in front of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.
Saadi Ghulam Abbas of Pakistan was also no match for the assertive Azeri, who grabbed an ippon within the first minute.

A yuko shortly after and four points were all that was needed for Agayev to triumph.

Following in Agayev's footsteps, Firdovski Farzaliev fought tooth and nail to take a third place medal home alongside Iran's Amir Mahdi Zadehiri in the -60kg event won by Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan thanks to a late ippon against Turkey's Aykut Kaya.

Azerbaijan came up short though in the men's kumite -67kg division as Bashar Alnajjar of Jordan beat Abdelatif Benkhaled of Algeria in the final.
Egypt's Ali Elsawy took bronze alongside Turkey's Omer Kemaloglu.

In the women's kumite -50 kg division, local girl Nurana Aliyeva took bronze alongside Algeria's Imane Taleb while Iran's Nasrin Dousti landed a blow in the final second to edge out Serap Ozcelik of Turkey.

Backed by a partisan crowd, Azeri sensation Farida Abiyeva thorougly dominated Iran's Rozita Alipourkeshkaalesad, striking an early ippon to win gold.

Young Azeri Ilaha Gasimova, who took up karate to follow the lead of her idol Bruce Lee, lost in the final of the -61kg division to Yassmin Attia of Egypt.

Taravat Khaksar of Iran and Cok Istri Agung Tyarani of Indonesia accounted for the bronzes.

© Agence France-Presse

Official Partners
Official Supporters