Our Society 5 september — 13:32

Paralympic Games are over: Azerbaijan has fantastic result!

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BY ELMIR ALIYEV, SPORTS SECTION

The Paralympic Games in Tokyo are over. The national team of Azerbaijan has shown a historical result, having won 14 (!) gold, 1 silver and 4 bronze medals.

In the overall team event, our team took an incredibly high 10th place, behind China, Great Britain, USA, Russia, Netherlands, Ukraine, Brazil, Australia and Italy. Moreover, we are inferior to the Italians only in the number of silver awards -- in gold we have equality with them.

The 14 gold medals in Tokyo are more than the previous five Paralympics combined. In Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 we did not have the highest standard awards, but in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Azerbaijan had two golds, in London 2012 - four, in Rio 2016 - one. That is, before Tokyo, our Paralympians had nine gold medals, while in Japan we have 14 champions at once.

At the five previous Games, Azerbaijan won 38 medals in total, and in Tokyo alone, exactly half - 19. In total, during the whole history of Azerbaijan's participation in the Paralympics, our country has 57 awards: 23 gold, 19 silver and 15 bronze medals.

Returning to the overall team classification, it should be said that the previous best result for the Azerbaijani national team was 27th place at the Games in London.

Now about the athletes. 3 gold medals out of 14 was won by swimmer Raman Salei. The naturalised Belarusian became the first 3-time Paralympic champion in the history of Azerbaijan. Also to the highest step of the podium rose: swimmer Vali Israfilov, judokas Shahana Hajiyeva, Vugar Shirinli, Sevda Valiyeva, Khanim Huseynova, Dursalaf Karimova, Huseyn Rahimli, athletes Hamid Heydari, Elvin Astanov, Lamiya Valiyeva, Orkhan Aslanov.

The only silver was won by athlete Lamiya Veliyeva, and bronze was won by Parvin Mammadov (powerlifting), Namig Abasli and Ilham Zakiyev (both judo) and Said Najafzadeh (athletics).

Two of our athletes have set world records in Tokyo. Hamid Heydari threw a javelin to the previously unattainable 51.42 metres, and Elvin Astanov put the shot by 8.77 metres, which was also the best result in history.

Swimmer Vali Israfilov and runner Lamiya Veliyeva set Paralympic records at distances of 100 and 400 metres, respectively.

Thus, Azerbaijan showed a fantastic result at the Paralympics in Tokyo! And we will study this phenomenal achievement for a long time, which is clearly discordant with the failed performance of the Azerbaijani Olympic team in Tokyo.

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