National athletes make historic victories this year
Azerbaijan has achieved tremendous results in sport this year, not only winning the high number of medals, but also successfully organizing Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, an exciting multi-sport event uniting the Islamic world in May.
With participation of over 3,000 athletes from 54 countries, the Games featured 20 sports in 17 sports arenas. The magnificent opening and closing ceremonies as well as competitions were broadcasted all over the Muslim world.
Finalizing the year, the ceremony of awarding athletes and sports professionals with participation of President of Azerbaijan, President of the National Olympic Committee Ilham Aliyev and First Lady, Member of the Executive Committee of the National Olympic Committee Mehriban Aliyeva was held at the National Olympic Committee on December 18.
President Aliyev praised the achievements of the national athletes in international competitions.
“This year the Azerbaijani athletes made our people happy with great victories," said the head of state. "Sports are rapidly developing in Azerbaijan. Every year, our athletes achieve high results at various international competitions, win medals. The number of medals is also more than enough this year. The Azerbaijani athletes won 851 medals at all international competitions this year, of which 347 are gold medals. The number of medals is bigger compared to the previous year.”
This shows that sports are developing dynamically and the Azerbaijani athletes are successively achieving great victories, he noted.
“Our chess players became European champions for the third time. This is a great victory, a great result. This result shows that our athletes are at the highest level in combat, team and intellectual sports. Becoming the European chess champions is a great achievement, and a great victory indeed,” added President Aliyev.
“This year, two our athletes, Mahammadrasul Majidov and Haji Aliyev, became world champions in boxing and freestyle wrestling. This is also a historic victory. To become a three-time world champion in Olympic sports is a great victory, and great success,” said the President.
The President also highlighted a historic victory of another Azerbaijani athlete, Ramil Guliyev, who became the world champion in athletics this year.
President Aliyev went on to say that the Azerbaijani athletes have also shown very good results in team sports.
The country’s women volleyball team ranked fourth at the 2017 CEV Volleyball European Championship held in Baku, said Ilham Aliyev.
He noted that it is a great achievement to rank fourth in volleyball, which is a very popular kind of sports in Europe.
The President spoke about the first participation of Azerbaijani football players (Qarabag FC) in the final stages of the UEFA Champions League.
“It is a great victory of Azerbaijani football, and the team with dignity represented our country, our people and Karabakh in these games,” added the head of state.
Speaking about sporting successes of the country, President Aliyev stressed the victories of Azerbaijani athletes at the Islamic Solidarity Games.
“Of course, this year’s biggest victory was the victories of Azerbaijani athletes at the Islamic Solidarity Games, held in Baku. The Games were a big festivity of sports, friendship and brotherhood,” noted the President. “Azerbaijan received the leading athletes from all Muslim countries, and I am sure they returned to their homelands with the best impressions. The Games held here once again demonstrated Azerbaijan’s power, and showed that Azerbaijan is a great sports nation on the global scale.”
Azerbaijan's squad ranked the second at the 2015 European Games and the first at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games, added the head of state.
More than 3,000 athletes, thousands of experts and guests participated in these games and got acquainted with the realities of Azerbaijan, said President Aliyev.
“I have just brought to your attention some important sports events, but there were many victories,” he said.
President Aliyev went on saying that the election of Farid Gayibov as the President of European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) is a historic achievement.
“This year, representative of the Azerbaijani Gymnastics Federation Farid Gayibov was elected the President of European Union of Gymnastics, which is a historic result because, so far, Azerbaijan's representative has not led the European sports federation. This is a manifestation of the development of gymnastics, in general, of the sports in Azerbaijan in recent years,” the President said.
The head of state summarized that many international competitions held in the country have already introduced Azerbaijan to the whole world community as a dynamic, modern, powerful state, and as a result, country's representatives now hold high positions in the European sports family.
At the foyer of the National Olympic Committee, President Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva viewed the “4th Islamic Solidarity Games through the eyes of Azerbaijani photographers” exhibition.
Following the presidential speech, an award-giving ceremony was held.
President Aliyev presented badges and certificates of “Honored worker of physical culture and sports” title to Aghayar Akhundzade, Zemfira Meftahaddinova, Naghi Babayev, Firat Huseynov, Vagid Davudov, Garib Aliyev and Kamal Ahmadov, as well as badges and certificates of "Honored Journalist" title to Aslan Shiraliyev and “Honored Doctor” title to Kamil Isgandarov for their contributions to the development of physical culture and sports in Azerbaijan.
The head of state presented the Azerbaijani President’s honorary diplomas to Elkhan Mammadov, Tahir Gozal and Farid Gayibov.
Ahad Abiyev received certificate of individual pension of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan for his significant contribution to the development of physical culture and sports in the country.
NOC President’s honorary diplomas were given to Azar Hasanov, Namig Asgarov, Guloghlan Jabbarov, Khayal Ahmadov, Faig Hasanov and Rasul Mammadov.
The head of state handed over certificates of new flats to a group of athletes and sports figures in recognition of their high achievements in 2017.
Member of the National Olympic Committee’s Executive Committee, the founder and director of Museum of Miniature Books, Honored Art Worker Zarifa Salakhova then presented keepsakes to President Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva.
President Ilham Aliyev attended ceremony dedicated to sport results of 2017.