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Double Paralympic champion Ilham Zakiyev gets his support to teach
9 May 2015 13:50
Double Paralympic champion Ilham ZAKIYEV (AZE) was one of the honoured guests in attendance of the Grand Slam in Baku. The Azerbaijan hero is preparing for the inaugural European Games in Baku where visually impaired judo will also be part of the programme.
Visually impaired world number one ZAKIYEV said: “I train with the full Azerbaijan Olympic team and receive great support from our Federation and all my teammates. I will go to Antalya in Turkey next week to take part in the Olympic Training Camp to build on my training in Japan from December.
“I am so pleased that visually impaired judo will be featured in the first European Games and that I can share this experience with all of my country. Visually impaired judo is always improving and it will be a big competition in Baku.
“I won the 2007 IBSA European Championships in Baku and that was a very special moment for me. I really hope I can win again in Baku and I cannot wait to represent my country on the tatami.”
London 2012 Paralympic bronze medallist ZAKIYEV also talked about the legacy of the Baku Grand Slam which is the first Grand Slam of the year in 2015.
“This event is very important for the next generation of judoka in Azerbaijan. For them to see such a high-profile event and to see great champions in Baku, they can see what it takes to be an ambassador for your sport and country. The IJF has always supported the Azerbaijan Judo Federation and I am proud of our place in the judo family.
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Martin Rygielski (CAN)
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