Azerbaijan will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia in topping the Islamic Soldarity Games medals table as the host nation, when they officially get underway on May 12. AFP-Services has taken a look at a few of their best contenders for gold in Baku.
MARIYA STADNIK (WRESTLING)
The 28-year-old has been a constant source of medals for Azerbaijan since switching allegiance from Ukraine in 2007. Competing in the women's under-48kg category, Stadnik has won three Olympic medals, the 2009 world title, five European championship crowns, as well as European Games gold on home soil two years ago.
But she was devastated by a dramatic loss in the Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro last summer, as for the second Games in a row, she was denied gold in the dying seconds of the final.
After the defeat to Japan's Eri Tosaka, a tearful Stadnik pulled the medal off her neck shortly after she received it, before throwing it to the ground in disgust while leaving the arena.
The host nation will be expecting her to put that disappointment behind her, and add another medal to her impressive career tally.
MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM (FOOTBALL)
The world's favourite sport has taken off in Azerbaijan, with club teams and the national side having improved dramatically in recent years.
The national team are currently fourth in Group C of European World Cup qualifying, three points off the playoff place, while both Qarabag and Gabala have featured in the Europa League group stages in recent years.
The tournament for the Solidarity Games will see eight countries competing in an under-23 tournament, although like in the Olympics, teams will be allowed to field three overage players.
The hosts have been drawn in Group A alongside Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Cameroon.
RADIK ISAYEV (TAEKWONDO)
The reigning world and Olympic middleweight champion will be expected to challenge for top honours again.
The Russian-born fighter beat Nigerien Abdoul Issoufou 6-2 in the gold medal match in Rio, and will need to be at his best to win again at home, with Uzbekistan's Dmitry Shokin, the top seed from the Olympics, another possible rival.
Isayev also won European championship gold in 2014, and the European Games the following year.
MARINA DURUNDA (RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS)
Maybe the best chance of providing multiple gold medals for the home nation is rhythmic gymnast Durunda.
The 19-year-old moved to Azerbaijan from Cyprus in 2012, to help continue the country's excellent recent showings in the Russian-dominated sport.
Durunda has taken over from the retired Aliya Garayeva as the team's number one, and with four gold medals on offer from the individual apparatus finals, she could turn out to be the star of the Games.
Her biggest competition is likely to come from teammates Zhala Piriyeva and Zohra Agamirova, as well as Kazakhstan's Sabina Ashirbayeva, who narrowly missed out on joining Durunda in the all-around final at the Rio Olympics last year.
SHARIF SHARIFOV (WRESTLING)
The 2012 Olympic under-84kg champion from London will be one of the favourites for gold in May.
Sharifov, 28, who also claimed the world title in 2011, missed out on defending his Olympic crown in Rio, when he had to settle for the bronze medal.
He has performed well at home before, having won the European championship silver in Baku in 2010.