Three golds out of four for Azerbaijan

18 May 2017
Turkey's Osman Yildirim (gold) Uzbekistan's Muminjon Abdullaev (silver), Iran's Shahab Ghourehjili (bronze) and Azerbaijan's Sabah Shariati (bronze) poses on the podium of the Men's Greco-Roman 130Kg at the Baku 2017.
Turkey's Osman Yildirim (gold) poses on the podium of the Men's Greco-Roman 130Kg at the Baku 2017.

Hosts Azerbaijan had three wrestlers in the four finals of Thursday's action at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku and they all claimed gold.
The Heydar Aliyev Arena resonated with the music of the "March of Azerbaijan" anthem as president Ilham Aliyev celebrated the title wins of Kamran Mammadov (66kg), Elvin Mursaliyev (75kg) and Islam Abbasov (85kg).

The imposing Sabah Shariati (130kg) had to settle for bronze though in the fourth and last event of the day.

The explosive Kamran started the day well by claiming a fast victory, dominating Kyrgyz Zhanat Kyilybaev to grab gold.

The Azeri wrestler was a dynamo of aggression throughout the tournament as he cruised past his opponents 6-3, 6-3 and 9-4 before dominating the final 9-0 in just over a minute.

It was just what was required to inspire Mursaliyev in the men's 75kg final.

Backed by a partisan crowd chanting his name, the 28-year old, who represented Azerbaijan at the 2016 Rio Olympics, scored a tactical victory in a nail-biting final.

Turkmenistan's Shermet Permanov and Kyrgyzstan's Kairatbek Tugolbaev both claimed bronze.

It was then Abbasov's turn to take the title in the men's 85kg final as the European and World junior champion managed a quick takedown over Ali Cengiz.

The Turk tried to fight back, but the young Azeri managed a swift reversal to score another point and increase his lead to 3-0 with 30 seconds to go in the first round.

A gripping second round saw Abbasov claim a deserved gold.

In the bronze medal matches, Mahdi Fallah Hamidabadi of Iran and Adem Boudjemline of Algeria edged out their opponents.

As the big men took centre stage, Shariati demolished Syria's Raja Alkrad in the bronze medal playoff, after establishing a 5-0 lead at the break.

Turkey's Osman Yildirim then went on to claim the only gold that escaped Azerbaijan on the day.

The home nation added another productive day to increase its tally to eight medals over the first two days of the competition, four of them gold.

© AFP Services

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