Azerbaijan won both the men’s and women’s team competitions on the final day of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) European Judo Championships in the English town of Walsall today.
The first bout of the men’s team final was a repeat of the up to 66 kilograms final with Davyd Khorava of Ukraine taking on Azerbaijan’s Bayram Mustafayev at the University of Wolverhampton Sports Complex.
Khorava got the better of Mustafayev in the individual final on Friday (August 4) but the Azeri gained revenge by scoring an ippon with 42 seconds remaining.
An ippon from Rio 2016 gold medallist Ramil Gasimov in the second contest saw Azerbaijan move to just one win away from the title.
Ukraine’s European champion Oleksandr Kosinov and Azerbaijan’s Huseyn Rahimli were next.
With Kosinov knowing only victory against Rahmli would keep Ukraine’s gold medal hopes alive, the Azeri outscored his opponent with one waza-ari to secure the gold medal for his country.
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Nazarenko ensured it was no’t a clean sweep as he pinned down Rovshan Safarov for an ippon in the penultimate bout.
The final contest of the men’s final lasted just 11 seconds, with seven-time European champion Ilham Zakiyev beating Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pominov for an ippon to seal a 4-1 victory overall.
"Winning the European team event for a fifth time is a huge achievement," Zakiyev said.
"We are all very proud to represent our country at an international level and we are very happy we can take the gold medal back home with us again."
The bronze medals were won by Russia and Turkey.
Azerbaijan's dominance continued into the women's team event as the pair of Sevda Valiyeva and Khanim Huseynova faced Turkish trio Ecem Tasin, Gulhan Atasayar and Zeynep Celik.
Turkey’s numerical advantage meant Azerbaijan needed to win both of the two bouts they were contesting to win gold.
Valiyeva got Azerbaijan off to the perfect start, beating Tasin in the first bout of the final.
The second contest went to Turkey with Atasayar claiming an uncontested win to set-up a decider between Celik and Huseynova.
Huseynova threw Celik for an ippon less than a minute into the decider to secure a sensational gold medal for Azerbaijan.
The bronze medals in the women’s event were won by Ukraine and Germany.