Baku Grand Slam 2022: 50 years of judo in Azerbaijan

The first day of the Baku 2022 Judo Grand Slam competition was cause for celebration, as Azerbaijan celebrates 50 years since the establishment of its judo federation.

A spectacular opening ceremony was opened by Mr. Farid Gayibov, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Dr. Laszlo Toth, IJF Vice-President, and Rovshan Rustamov, Vice-President of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation.

The crowd went wild for the -60kg final, as young Azerbaijani star Balabay Aghayev claimed victory in the golden score, sending home fans into delight.

Mr. Rashad Nabiyev, President of the Azerbaijan Judo Federation presented the medals.

At -48kg, Italy’s Milani took on French European Champion Shirine Boukli – in what turned out to be a short-lived competition.

A powerful drive-thru hip throw scored Ippon in the opening 30 seconds and gave France their first medal of the tournament.

Mr. Farid Gayibov, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan, was present to hand over the medals.

At -52kg, Uzbekistan’s Diyora Keldiyorova scored a tactical victory to win her second Grand Slam title this year

She received her medals from Dr. Laszlo Toth, IJF Vice President.

At -66 kg, Denis Vieru of Moldova emerged victorious.

The medals were presented by Mr. Madat Guliyev, Minister of Defense Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan

The 2019 world champion Christa Deguchi is back to her best level, at -57 kg. She received the gold medal from the hands of Mr. Florin Daniel Lascau, Director of Chief Referees of the IJF.

The crowd had reason to rejoice as their country’s gold medal was bolstered by two fantastic bronze medals for home hero Orkhan Safarov, who scored Ippon with a moment of brilliance.

To top it all off, Karamat Huseynov performed a thunderous Ippon – showing how Azerbaijan has become one of the strongest and most passionate judo nations in the world.

Make sure you don’t miss day two!