TODAY.AZ / Baku-2015

Azerbaijani taekwondo fighters beat furor

19 June 2015 [18:12] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Amina Nazarli

So far half of the national taekwondo fighters representing Azerbaijan at the European Games have won medals for their country.

The bouts were tough, as national athletes competed with Europe’s strongest rivals, many of whom were the Olympic, World, and European champions. However, four of the eight Azerbaijani taekwondo fighters were able to prove that they were the best among the 127 athletes from all over Europe who competed in the sport.

Aykhan Taghizade (weighing 68 kg) and Milad Beigi Harchegani (80 kg) took gold medals, while Farida Azizova (67 kg) earned a silver medal, and Patimat Abakarova (49 kg) won bronze.

“Azerbaijani taekwondo shows good results in recent years," says Chungwon Choue, the president of the World Taekwondo Federation. "I believe that Azerbaijan has a great chance to win gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In general, I think that the Azerbaijani taekwondo has bright future. You have a number of top-class athletes who are quite capable to compete for an Olympic medal.”

The popular martial art of Taekwondo has historical origins on the Korean peninsula and can be traced as far back as the 1st century BCE. After introducing structured rules, the martial art transitioned into being a sport and was eventually introduced into the Olympics in 1988.

Taekwondo is one of the most popular sports in Azerbaijan.

The National Taekwondo Federation has trained many prominent athletes since its founding in 1992. Many of those athletes now enjoy international recognition. The Federation’s training facility houses new, state-of-the-art training equipment.

The National Taekwondo School has a proud history of bringing up more than 500 black belt recipients and athletes.

The European Championships in Taekwondo was held in the nation’s capital in May 2014. Roughly 400 athletes from 45 European countries came to Baku to compete in the tournament.

The taekwondo sporting community also chose Azerbaijan to host the European Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Baku 2015 kicked off on June 12 will run until June 28. The first-ever European Games has attracted more than 6,000 of the best athletes from 50 countries across Europe to compete in 20 separate sporting events, twelve of which offer officially licensed qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


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