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UNPLEASANT START

Azerbaijani athletes drop out of the struggle for prizes at the Tokyo Olympics

Author:

01.08.2021

Finally, we could see the official opening ceremony of the most prestigious sports event on the planet, the 32th Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. The flag of Azerbaijan during the ceremony was carried by judoka Rustam Orujov and taekwondoka Farida Azizova. A delegation of 24 Azerbaijani athletes marched together with the chief of mission of the national team and the sports manager of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan Farid Mansurov. Our team was the fifth to appear on the stadium after Greece, the Olympic team of refugees, Iceland and Ireland.

Held a year later after the COVID-19 pandemic, the opening ceremony of Tokyo 2020 was held without spectators. In addition to the athletes, only 950 officials were admitted to the event, which took place at the National Stadium in Tokyo. For the first time in the history of Olympic Games, medical masks were used at the parade, with the social distance observed.

The opening ceremony began with small compositions with light special effects, as well as various performances in the national style. Then the most famous athletes in the history of Japan carried the flag of their state to the stadium under the rhythms of the national anthem.

After a minute of silence, traditional Japanese musical compositions were performed in memory of the victims of the coronavirus, followed by the demonstration of spectacular performances. After the demonstration of state symbols, a parade of athletes began, with the Greek team traditionally marching the first.

 

Unlucky flag bearers

Unfortunately, the unpleasant tradition of the previous Olympic Games in Athens (2004), London (2012) and Rio (2016) continued at the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. Once again, our flag-bearers failed to win prizes. The only difference is that there were two of them this time. Farida Azizova lost in the first bout, while Rustam Orujov stopped the competition one step away from the bronze medal. Namig Abdullayev has been the only flag-bearer that won a medal for the Azerbaijani national team. After the silver medal he got at the Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996), Namig was righteously chosen to bear the flag of Azerbaijan in Sydney. And he justified the trust – he once again raised the flag of Azerbaijan winning the compeititon. We have not had a second similar flag-bearer for 21 years.

 

In sequence

In the first days of the Tokyo Olympics, our judokas Aisha Gurbanli (48 kg), Keramet Huseynov (60 kg), Orkhan Safarov (66 kg), Rustam Orujov (73 kg), Murad Fatiyev (81 kg), boxers Tayfur Aliyev (57 kg), Lorenzo Sotomayor (69 kg), fencer Anna Bashta, cyclist Elchin Asadov, swimmers Maxim Shemberev and Maryam Sheikhalizadehangah, badminton player Edi Resko Dvichao, taekwondokas Farida Azizova and Milad Beigi Kharchegani, and triathlete Rostislav Pevtsov dropped out of the competition.

Wrestlers who will represent Azerbaijan on August 1 have already left for Japan. Haji Aliyev (65 kg), Turan Bayramov (74 kg), Sharif Sharifov (97 kg) will test their strength in freestyle wrestling competitions, while Rafig Huseynov (77 kg) and Islam Abbasov (87 kg) – as Greco-Roman wrestlers... Among the women wrestlers, we expect medals from Maria Stadnik (50 kg) and Alice Manolova (68 kg).

 

Only facts

The Tokyo Olympics has been full of surprises since its first days. There was an unpleasant incident at a tennis competition. In the quarter-finals, the Spaniard athlete Paula Badosa lost to Marketa Vondrousova in the first set (3:6), but got a sunstroke and could not continue the competition.

The four-time Olympic champion in artistic gymnastics, American Simone Biles, refused to participate in the individual all-around. The organisers report that the decision was taken after a medical examination. It was decided to replace the individual all-around athlete with Jade Carey.

Japan's Momiji Nishiya made history when she became an Olympic champion in street skateboarding champion at the age of 13. She therefore lags behind only two athletes – American Marjorie Gestring (diving) and the German athlete Klaus Zerta (rowing), who became Olympic champions in 1936 and 1960, respectively, and were only a few days younger than Nishiya.

Bermuda became the most sparsely populated nation to win the gold award of the Tokyo Olympics. With a population of only 63,000 people, Bermuda athletes achieved the first success in their history. Flora Duffy was the first in the triathlon competition. Before that, athletes from Bermuda had only one bronze medal – in 1976 in Montreal, when a boxer from Bermuda climbed to the third step of the podium.

The gold medal in the 200m butterfly was won by 21-year-old Hungarian Kristof Milak. After swimming the distance in 1 min. 51.25 seconds, he broke the record of the legendary US swimmer Michael Phelps (1:52.03).

 

Pandemic is advancing

At the Tokyo Olympics, the number of people infected with coronavirus is increasing every day, reaching 193 people as of July 29. In just a day, COVID-19 was detected in another 24 people who came to Japan as part of the Olympics, the organizing committee said. Among the infected are 4 athletes from foreign countries, as well as 15 employees. All infected are quarantined.



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