18 January 2019

Friday, 18:13



Accomplishments in Azerbaijani sport in 2018



Throughout 2018 the sports life of Azerbaijan had a number of prestigious competitions and important victories of local athletes. In addition to the traditional Formula 1 in Baku, Azerbaijan also hosted the Vugar Hashimov Memorial, a chess super-tournament regularly held in Shamkir, the world judo championship, which was attended by 124 countries for the first time, the European mini trampoline and tumbling championship, the world cup in rhythmic gymnastics and aerobics, BMX Cycling World Championship.

In 2018, Azerbaijani athletes won 85 gold, 90 silver and 138 bronze medals in Olympic fields of sport. Another 178 gold, 140 silver and 122 bronze medals were awarded to Azerbaijani athletes in non-Olympic fields. In total, Azerbaijani athletes won 753 medals at world and European championships, the Summer Youth Olympic Games and in various other tournaments. This means that, on average, the flag of Azerbaijan has been raised at least twice every day at various competitions.


Olympic movement

Azerbaijani national team successfully performed at the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, which was attended by more than 4,000 athletes from 208 countries. With 17 athletes aboard, our team returned with seven medals - 3 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze. Judoka Vugar Talibov (66 kg), wrestler Turan Bayramov (65 kg) and artistic gymnast Elizaveta Luzan won gold medals. Azerbaijani weightlifter Tarmenkhan Babayev (85 kg) received the silver medal of the Youth Games. Taekwondoka Javad Aghayev (63 kg), boxer Nurlan Safarov (69 kg) and wrestler Shahane Nazarova (43 kg) were ranked the third best athletes of the tournament. Thus, Azerbaijan took the 31st place among 208 countries by the quality of medals, and 37th place by their number.



The national team of Azerbaijan failed in the UEFA Nations League. Neftchi, Gabala and Keshla dropped out of the European Cup after the first qualifying stage. Only the champion of the country, Garabagh FC, completed the minimum program, breaking into the group stage.



Throughout the year, Azerbaijani gymnasts adequately defended the country's sporty image at prestigious competitions, returning home with medals.

In April, for the first time in Baku, the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation organized the European Championship in trampoline, double mini-trampoline and acrobatic tumbling. At the 26th Continental Championships held at the National Gymnastics Arena more than 400 athletes from 25 countries competed in the adult and junior programs. The European Championship in Baku was a milestone event, as the young gymnasts could become qualified to the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, and adults – to the European Games in 2019. Azerbaijani athletes pleased the fans with gold and silver medals. Mikhail Malkin, who was awarded the gold medal, achieved the best result. Svetlana Makshtareva and Veronika Zemlanaya won the silver medal in synchronized trampoline.

At the World Cup in Baku, the representative of Azerbaijan Marina Nekrasova became the second best athlete.

European rhythmic gymnastics championship held in Guadalajara, Spain was doubly successful. Our team recorded 2 medals and 2 vouchers for the second European Games, which will be held in 2019 in Minsk. In competitions of young gymnasts, Arzu Jalilova became a participant in the finals on four apparatus simultaneously. As a result, she received a bronze medal for her performance with a ball. Another bronze medallist of the national team was the ‘magnificent five’ who participated in competitions with three balls and two ropes, Aliya Pashayeva, Siyana Vasileva, Zeynab Hummatova, Diana Doman and Ayshen Bayramova.

The last international tournament of the season, the World Acrobatics Cup, was held at the National Gymnastics Arena. Azerbaijani gymnasts Abdulla Mashayhi and Ruhidil Gurbanli, competing in mixed pairs, won silver medals. Seymour Jafarov and Murad Akberov, who competed in men's pairs, were also awarded silver medals.



Azerbaijani team also won two gold medals at the World Karate Championship in Madrid. Irina Zaretskaya (68 kg) showed the best result in our team, winning the gold medal.

Unfortunately, the leader of the Azerbaijani national team Rafael Aghayev, who is one of the strongest karatekas in the world, failed at the world championship. The five-time world champion and twice the finalist of the world championship this time left with a bronze medal.

Meanwhile, in the continental championship in Serbia R. Agayev became the 11-time European champion in his weight category (75 kg). Shahin Hatamov (+84 kg) became a silver medallist, while Nuran Aliyev (50 kg) and Roman Heydarov (kata) became bronze medallists.



Baku hosted yet another prestigious competition this year. European Championship of Adult Judo held at the National Gymnastics Arena gathered almost 800 athletes from 125 countries. Azerbaijani athletes won two medals of the continental championship - in the weight category of 73 kg, Hidayat Heydarov won the bronze medal, and in the category over 100 kg, Ushangi Kokauri was awarded the silver medal. In the final listing, the Azerbaijani team is ranked as the 11th strongest team of the tournament.



Azerbaijani athletes returned with five medals from the World Wrestling Championship held in Budapest (1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze). The only gold medal of the national team was awarded to the last European champion in Greco-Roman wrestling, Eldaniz Azizli. Jabrail Hasanov and Maria Stadnik won silver medals. Bronze medallists were Irina Netreby and the Greco-Roman style wrestler Rasul Junayev. With this result, the Azerbaijani wrestling team took the 5th place in the team competition.

Significant in terms of success was for us the continental championship in the Greco-Roman, freestyle and women's wrestling held in Kaspiysk, Russia. Azerbaijani wrestlers won eight medals at the previous European Championship and returned home with eighteen awards this time. With four gold, five silver and nine bronze medals, they set a new record. Of particular note is the Greco-Roman style wrestler Eldaniz Azizli (55 kg), who became the gold medallist of the European championship the first time in his career. In freestyle wrestling, Georgy Edisherashvili pleased his fans winning the gold medal of the tournament. In the women's team, it is worth mentioning the phenomenon of Maria Stadnik. She once again proved that she is the strongest in Europe in her weight category (50 kg). Stadnik became the European champion for the eighth time.



Azerbaijani taekwondoka Radik Isayev won his second gold medal at the European championship. At the continental championship held in Kazan, Patimat Abakarova and Milad Beigi Kharchegani completed competitions with bronze medals.

As a side note, 2019 will be even more difficult and responsible for taekwondokas, since the winners will qualify to take part at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.


                                                             ATHLETES OF 2018 



Achievement in 2018

Eldaniz Azizli

Greek-Roman wrestling

World and European champion

Bayram Mustafayev


World champion

Hidayat Heydarov


Award winner, world and European championships

Jabrail Hasanov

Freestyle wrestling

Award winner, world and European championships

Radik Isayev


European champion, Award winner of the world championship

Mikhail Malkin


Award winner

Parviz Hasanov


World and European champion

Shahriyar Mammadyarov


Third best in the world ranking

Elkhan Aliyev


Award winner of the European championship

Rafael Aghayev


Award winner, Award winner of the world championship