By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani judo fighters will struggle for medals at the European Cup to be held in Rome on February 18-19, Azertac reported.
Azerbaijan`s hopes will be pinned on 16 fighters, including Oruj Valizade (60 kg), Ilkin Babazade ( 66 kg), Elvira Mustafayev (73 kg), Ziya Namazov ( 81 kg), Tural Safguliyev ( 90 kg), Sanan Akhmedov and others.
The tournament will bring together 275 judo fighters from 37 countries.
Judo is one of the most developed kinds of sport in Azerbaijan, where the National Judo Federation was established in 1972.
The adult judo team of Azerbaijan made considerable progress in 2016. The team led by the Autsrian coach Peter Seisenbacher won 51 awards in competitions of various levels. His clutch includes 14 gold, 10 silver and 27 bronze medals. The Federation's results showed that Azerbaijani judokas won 351 times out of 710 fights during the year.
The Azerbaijani judo fighter, silver medalist of Rio-2016 Summer Olympic Games, Rustam Orujov was named the best in Azerbaijan's male team. Moreover, he is the strongest in the world in his weight class of 73kg, as well as among all weight classes.
The Azerbaijani judokas also showed good performance at the Rio-2016, bringing home two silver medals.
Next year the country's capital Baku will host the World Judo Championships 2018 among adults.