2017: Truly remarkable sporting year
Azerbaijan sees off another sporting year. Indeed, 2017 was a very successful year for the national athletes.
Azerbaijan’s history-making athletes have secured the country’s biggest Olympic medal haul for the past 25 years of independence.
Overall, the national athletes showed brilliant performances in both domestic and international competitions, winning 851 medals in 2017.
Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov revealed that some 347 of the medals won are gold, 236 are silver and 268 are bronze.
The minister noted that 219 competitions were organized, and some 55 international competitions were held in the country. The country was represented by national teams at 234 international competitions.
Rahimov said that in the second half of this year only at official competitions 48 gold, 38 silver and 56 bronze medals were won.
The minister also added that the Youth House was put into operation in the Shirvan region, Olympic sports complexes were created in Absheron and Aghjabedi regions, and the reconstruction of the Olympic sports complex continues in Lankaran.
Sports complexes are also being built in Yardimli, Terter, Neftchala and Goranboy regions, Rahimov said.
He noted that construction of the Museum of Olympic Movement and Sports is underway in Baku, Youth Houses - in Sheki, Guba, Barda and Shamakhi regions, and sports halls in Buzovna, Turkan, Gobustan, Garachukhur and Bulbul.
Azerbaijan is known as a sporting power across the world with both sport of high achievements and mass sports being popular in the country.
The national athletes participate in the most prestigious international competitions on a regular basis. The number of medals won by national athletes gradually increases, so compared to last year the athletes won 24 more medals.
This year the country not only showed competitiveness in certain long-neglected areas but also showed the world how to watch sport.
The 4th Islamic Solidarity Games held in Baku, a multinational and multi-sport event involving more than 3,000 elite athletes of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, became the brightest page in the national sport, where Azerbaijan took the lead in medal standings winning 75 gold, 50 silver and 37 bronze medals.
Moreover, recently the young athlete Mikhail Malkin has become the winner of the 25th World Tambling competitions held in Sofia.
Notably, Azerbaijani men’s chess team has claimed a glorious victory in the history of national chess, becoming the third-time European champion during the last eight years. The national GM recently achieved a historic success, as he entered the Top 5 in the World Chess Federation ranking for the first time in 2017.
Wrestling remains the most popular sport in the county. Azerbaijani wrestler Haji Aliyev (61 kg) has claimed a gold medal at the 2017 World Wrestling Championships in Paris, France.
Another significant level in Azerbaijani sport was achieved by the country’s football team Qarabag which reached which broke into the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in the history of the national football.
Additionally, Azerbaijan regularly hosts large-scale international competitions.