Azerbaijan deliver golden double in Baku

17 May 2017
Azerbaijan's Palimat Abakarova celebrates her win over Ainur Yesebergenova in the -49kg taekwondo event
Azerbaijan's Palimat Abakarova celebrates her win over Ainur Yesebergenova in the -49kg taekwondo event

Hosts Azerbaijan picked up two much-needed golds in their battle to top the Islamic Solidarity Games medals table with Turkey, as the home taekwondo fighters starred at the Baku Sports Hall on Wednesday.

Women's under-49kg athlete Patimat Abakarova delighted a large home crowd by thrashing Ainur Yesbergenova 14-4.

The first men's final saw Aykhan Taghizade beat Iranian practitioner Seyedhossein Ehsanipetroudi in the under-68kg category 9-8 to make it a golden Azeri double.

Abakarova started the stronger and built up a seven-point first-round lead thanks to a flurry of kicks to her opponent's chest.

Having destroyed Soudabeh Poursadeghi Shalmaei 15-4 in the semi-finals, the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist was a hot favourite for the final and she didn't disappoint.

The 22-year-old from Dagestan, who also won European Games bronze in Baku two years ago, was far too good for Kazakhstan's Yesbergenova and finished off a resounding victory with two head kicks.

Taghizade, who was the inaugural European Games champion in Baku, edged a nervy first round in his clash with Ehsanipetroudi.

One spinning kick was enough to extend his advantage ahead of the final two minutes, and he subtly avoided his rival's advances to close out the win.

© AFP Services

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