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Rustam Orujov wins European judo title for Azerbaijan in Kazan

22 Apr 2016 18:35

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Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan captured the European title at the European Judo Championships in Kazan. Orujov is only the fourth ever European champion of his country. In 2006, the later Olympic Champion Elnur Mammadli won the first European title U73kg and later in 2011 U81kg. Lightweight Elchin Ismayilov won three titles 200-2005 and Nazim Guseinov set the tone in 1993.

Orujov is number two in the IJF World ranking and was the favourite in advance. The toughest category with 44 players saw a surprising tournament with favourites Sagi Muki (European Champion 2015) kicked out by youngster Martin Hojak who became the surprising semi finalist. But Hojak lost the bronze bout against compatriot Rok Draksic.

The final was decided in the last minute. In the fourth minute of the match Lasha Shavdatuashvili scored wazari against Orujov and from then Orujov exploded in activities. With three penalties on the scoreboard for the Georgian Shavdatuashvili stepped out of the tatami nine seconds for the end and got hansoku make.

Orujov lost his first round match last year, but now he got the gold with a convinced referee who gave the fourth penalty.

Nugzari Tatalashvili, the second Georgian won bronze which keeps the two rivals for one Olympic place together. A gold medal could have made a decision in this medal, but the experienced Shavdatuashvili gave it away himself. Rok Draksic added a second medal for Slovenia. He was European champion in 2013 and won his sixth European medal.

This Olympic cycle European Champions

2016      Rustam Orujov (AZE)

2015      Sagi Muki (ISR)

2014      Dex Elmont (NED)

2013      Rok Draksic (SLO)

2012      Ugo Legrand (FRA)

Short Profile Rustam Orujov

Rustam Orujov of Azerbaijan took victories at the 2016 Grand Prix in Havana, Grand Prix in Baku (2012), Grand Slam Baku in 2013 and Grand prix Tbilisi and in Samsun, both in 2015. In 2015 he won silver at the Grand Slam of Paris and silver in Düsseldorf 2016. Orujov was born in Ust-Ilimsk in Russia. Now he finally won the first European medal in Russia.

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