2017: Truly re­mark­able sport­ing year

Azer News - - Front Page - By Aygul Sal­manova

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.

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