Azerbaijan off to golden start with double gold

13 May 2017
Azerbaijan's Orkhan Safarov (white) and Turkey's Bekir Ozlu compete during the Baku 2017.
Azerbaijan's Orkhan Safarov (white) and Turkey's Bekir Ozlu compete during the Baku 2017.

Azerbaijan scooped two of the first three judo gold medals on offer on Saturday at the Islamic Solidarity Games as they delighted a vibrant crowd at Baku's Heydar Aliyev Arena.

Erdenebat Bazarragchaa beat compatriot Aisha Gurbanli in the women's 48kg gold-medal bout with the latter taking silver in an Azeri one-two.
In a tight contest which went the four-minute distance, 21-year-old Bazarragchaa outscored her compatriot with one waza-ari to secure the first-ever judo gold medal at an Islamic Solidarity Games.

Morocco's Wafae Idrissi Chorfi clinched bronze by Ippon against Aiah Kitaneh.

Orkhan Safarov battled to a thrilling victory against Turkey's Bekir Ozlir in the men's 66kg gold-medal contest to secure Azerbaijan's second judo gold.

The 2015 European Games silver medallist was behind with Ozlir one-up via waza-ari with just seconds remaining, but Safarov delighted the Heydar Aliyev Arena crowd with back-to-back waza-aris to win at the end of four-minute regulation, with a visibly distraught Ozlir having to settle for silver.
Olympic bronze medallist Diyorbek Urozboev took bronze after defeating Morocco's Yassine Moudatir by Golden Score - the Uzbek adding to his silver from the Asian Championships last year.

Otar Bestaev of Kyrgyzstan took the other bronze by beating Kazakh Bauyrzhan Zhauyntayev.

There was some disappointment for the hosts though as Nazakat Azizova suffered defeat by waza-ari in regulation at the hands of Turkey's Irem Korkmaz in the women's 52kg category.

Korkmaz was in control throughout and pinned down Azizova to win the gold medal with her Azeri opponent settling for silver - the hosts' fourth judo medal of the day.

Traditional powerhouse Kazakhstan grabbed their first judo medal in an Islamic Solidarity Games with Guldana Almukhanbetova beaing Uzbek rival Diyora Keldiyorova. Algeria's Meriem Moussa won the other bronze in the 52kg category with victory by Ippon over Dilara Lokmanhekim.

© Agence France-Presse

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