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Azeri judoka take three gold at IBSA Grand Prix in Baku
14 May 2019 11:10
At the IBSA Judo Grand Prix in Baku 212 athletes from 35 countries are competing for a medal and important points towards qualification for the next Paralympic Games. The first day brought all seven current Paralympic champions to the tatami.
There was excitement from the start as 18-year old Shahana Hajiyeva shocked Paralympic Champion LI Liquin in the U48kg category by throwing her with an incredible de ashi barai. It shows that Paralympic judo is a fast-developing sport in Azerbaijan.
Alongside Hajiyeva, Sevda Valiyeva and Vugar Shirinli also claimed the gold for Azerbaijan and topped the medal table at the end of day one. World Champion Feruz Sayidov and his teammate Davurkhon Karomatov collected gold medals for Uzbekistan. Ukraine and Georgia both collected one gold medal. Inna Cherniak was the only Paralympic Champion today to take the gold, not only showing the depth of IBSA judo, but also of the absolute dominance of Cherniak.
The most dominating athlete for IBSA Judo is undoubtedly Inna Cherniak. It took the current Paralympic and double world champion less than two minutes to win all her matches today in the -52kg category. “I feel in very good form. I am happy with the win. Judo is my profession, so each tournament is equally important for me.”
Cherniak trains alongside her twin sister Maryna, who is well-known in the IJF World Judo Tour. “We always train together. We go to the same gym and we have the same coaching staff. My sister is helping me a lot in the trainings. Together we are stronger.”
It shows how well Paralympic and Olympic judo go together and can be used as a metaphor for the special cooperation between IJF and IBSA.
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Toon Hermans (NED)