• Id: 55965

Hosts on top as Karate boosts Olympic chances

  • Id: 54162

The best Karate images of Baku 2015

Karate | Best of Baku 2015
Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan acknowledges the cheers of his fans. Paul Gilham/Getty Images
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Jasmin Bleul of Germany competes in the Women's Karate Kata elimination round during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Aykhan Mamayev of Azerbaijan (red) competes against Michail Georgios Tzanos of Greece (blue) in the Men's Karate Kumite -84kg elimination round during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Mattia Busato of Italy competes in the Men's Karate Kata elimination round during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Aykhan Mamayev of Azerbaijan (red) competes against Michail Georgios Tzanos of Greece (blue) in the Men's Karate Kumite -84kg elimination round during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan (blue) competes with Masa Martinovic of Croatia (red) in the Women's Karate Kumite +68kg gold medal match during day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Steven Da Costa of France (blue) competes with Burak Uygur of Turkey (red) during the Men's Kumite -67kg gold medal match on day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Firdovsi Farzaliyev of Azerbaijan (red) competes with Luca Maresca of Italy (blue) in the Men's Kumite -60kg gold medal match during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Niyazi Aliyev of Azerbaijan (red) competes with Ricardo Giegler of Germany (blue) in the Men's Kumite -67kg bronze medal match during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Yves Martial Tadissi of Hungary (L) and Burak Uygur of Turkey compete in the Men's -67kg Kumite elimination during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Ilaha Gasimova of Azerbaijan celebrates a point against Tuba Yakan of Turkey in the Women's Kumite 55kg Elimination Round during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Bronze medalist Ilaha Gasimova of Azerbaijan celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Women's Kumite -55kg during day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 13: Rafael Aghayev of Azerbaijan celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Men's Kumite -75kg on day one of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 13, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: Gold medalist Damian Quintero of Spain celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Men's Karate Kata on day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: (L-R) Silver medalist Sandy Scordo of France, gold medalist Sandra Sanchez Jaime of Spain and bronze medalist Dilara Bozan of Turkey celebrate during the medal ceremony for the Women's Karate Kata on day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - JUNE 14: (L-R) Silver medalist Jonathan Horner of Germany, gold medalist Enes Erkan of Turkey and bronze medalist Martin Nestorovski of FYR Macedonia celebrate during the medal ceremony for the Men's Karate Kumite +84kg on day two of the Baku 2015 European Games at Crystal Hall on June 14, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images for BEGOC)
© Getty Images
A review of Karate at the Baku 2015 European Games

Host nation heroes Rafael Aghayev and Irina Zaretska were symbolic of Azerbaijan’s joy in topping the Karate medal table at the Baku 2015 European Games.

Aghayev, known as the ‘Maradona of Karate’, gave his legion of fans the jitters when he lost a group-stage bout against Turkey’s Ermen Eltemur on the first day of competition (June 13).

But he recovered to qualify as runner-up and went on to claim the men's -75kg kumite gold, sending the Crystal Hall into raptures.

The four-time world champion left it late, scoring the only point of the match with just seven seconds left against Italy’s Luigi Busa.

“In the group stage I couldn't put my mind together,” Aghayev said. “I couldn’t concentrate. It was different in the final. I met one of my fiercest rivals and I beat him.”

The following night it was Zaretska’s turn to raise the roof, as she beat world no.1 Alisa Theresa Buchinger of Austria to claim the women's -68kg kumite title.

The bout was even with just 25 seconds to go, when Zaretska scored with a waza-ari, followed up with an ippon and a yuko, stacking up to a 8-1 win.

The Ukraine-born 19-year-old said: “I can't even speak right now. I just want to thank the Azerbaijani federation that selected me for these Games, my coaches and everyone who supported me, everybody who is here.”

The biggest surprise came when the women’s +68kg kumite world no.1, Nadege Ait Ibrahim of France, failed to get past the preliminary round after being held to a draw by Hana Antunovic of Sweden.

In all, there were 10 kumite weight categories, plus men’s and women’s medals in kata up for grabs.

Azerbaijan may won six medals compared with Turkey’s nine, but the hosts topped the medal table thanks to four golds compared to their neighbour's three.

France and Spain won two golds apiece and as predicted, Damian Hugo Quintero and Sandra Sanchez Jaime were the king and queen of kata.

For Esteban Perez Matas, chairman of the organising committees for the European and World Karate Federations, his sport’s hope of being added to the Olympic Games were enhanced by Baku 2015.

Karate has been shortlisted along with baseball/softball, squash, bowling, roller sports, climbing, surfing and wushu for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Perez Matas said: “We were able to show the world what an exciting and competitive sport Karate is. We have been trying to get it included in the Olympic programme for many years. Now we think we have a good chance.”

 


    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 55965
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Hosts on top as Karate boosts Olympic chances

    A review of Karate at the Baku 2015 European Games
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 41527
    • Area: Videos (code:600)
    • Section: General (code:6000)
    • Kind: Video (code:600000)
    • Hide from news list: False
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 41140
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Another golden day of Karate for Azerbaijan

    Host nation finds further European Games success in Baku's Crystal Hall
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 40268
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Karate brings Azerbaijan first Baku 2015 medals

    Farzaliyev and Aghayev win gold for hosts, while France and Turkey also claim two titles
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 39999
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Shock defeat for home Karate star Rafael Aghayev

    Coach backs Azerbaijani hero to overcome setback
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 38871
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    Host nation hopes for success in Karate

    A preview of the Baku 2015 Karate competition, which begins on Saturday 13 June
    • PublishingList: NEWSARTICLE.SUGGESTED.NEWS
    • Id: 38540
    • Area: News (code:800)
    • Section: General (code:8000)
    • Kind: News Article (code:800000)
    • Hide from news list: False

    'Maradona of Karate' confident he can handle Europe's best

    Azerbaijan's iconic karateka Rafael Aghayev looking to get back on the golden trail
Live