Baku, May 9, AZERTAC
Azerbaijani judo fighter Nijat Shikhalizade has claimed gold medal of the Baku Grand Slam 2015 dedicated to the 92nd anniversary of national leader Heydar Aliyev.
Shikhalizade sent the home crowd into euphoria as he denied reigning Baku Grand Slam winner British Colin Oates a successful defence of his 2014 title. Oates, 31, was penalised for passivity after 50 seconds and then for not taking a grip which Shikhalizade was also penalised for. With 43 seconds left and everything still to fight for, Shikhalizada brought the entire arena to their feet with a huge ippon. The explosive Azerbaijan fighter shaped up for an ashi-waza attack and came through with a harai-goshi to win his country’s first gold medal in Baku. Even Oates applauded Shikhalizade after he returned to his feet and raised the arm of the Azerbaijan ace in a great show of respect.
The three-day event brings together 383 fighters from 50 countries.