Azerbaijan top karate at Solidarity Games

15 May 2017

Sunday's action at the Islamic Solidarity Games karate finals in Baku saw Azerbaijan dominate Turkey as the hosts ended up with five gold medals over the two days to their neighbour's two.

The home nation struck gold with Irina Zaretska (-68kg), Aykhan Mamayev (-84kg), Roman Heydarov (kata) while Farida Aliyeva (+68kg) had to settle for silver and Asiman Gurbanli (+84kg) for bronze to add to their tally.

In the two days of the competition, the Azeris claimed a total of nine medals (five gold, two silver and two bronze) with Turkey bringing home 11 (two gold, six silver, three bronze).

In Sunday's women's event, Irina Zaretska won thanks to three consecutive yukos in the final minute against Turkey's Eda Eltemur in the women's kumite -68 kg.

Egypt's Nada Mohamed and Jordan's Hala Traish both claimed bronzes.

Local favorite Aliyeva, who delighted the Baku Sports Hall with her win in the -61kg division on Saturday, failed to repeat that thrilling performance.

She had to settle for silver behind Turkey's Mellem Hocaoglu, while Imene Atif of Algeria and Mohadaseh Aghaei of Iran both secured third places.

In the men's competition, Aykhan Mamayev, who had cruised past his earlier opponents 8-0, 3-1, 3-1, maintained his winning ways as he dominated Alparslan Yamanoglu of Turkey in the men's -84kg final to thunderous applause after a well-placed yuko.

Abdulaziz Ataboev of Uzbekistan and Mohamed Elkotby of Egypt were joint third.

In the kata event, Roman Heydarov added to Azeri joy by edging out Turkey's Mehmet Yakan in the men's final while the women's competition saw glory for Dilara Bozan of Turkey.

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