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Azerbaijani Paralympic Swimmer Adds Third Gold to His Trophy Collection

By Timucin Turksoy September 3, 2021

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Raman Salei reacts to his first victory at the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games. / Marko Djurica / Reuters

Azerbaijan’s Paralympic swimmer Raman Salei won his third gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games.

The 27-year-old athlete outpaced his rivals to finish first in the men’s 100m butterfly final. Born with vision impairment, Salei has previously claimed the titles in men’s 100m backstroke and men’s 100m freestyle on August 27 and 31, respectively.

With Salei’s gold medal, the total trophy count of Azerbaijan’s Paralympic team at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games reached 17, including 12 gold, one silver, and four bronze prizes. Azerbaijani Paralympic athletes have won two gold medals in athletics, six in judo, and four in swimming. Salei’s teammate Vali Israfilov, aged 18, has become the youngest Paralympics champion in Azerbaijan’s sports history after finishing first in men’s 100m breaststroke.

Azerbaijan’s team currently ranks tenth in the medal standings. The top three spots in the chart are shared by China, Great Britain, and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC). RPC represents the official Russian team since the athletes cannot perform under the Russian flag due to a doping scandal.

The Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games kicked off on August 24. A total of 539 events in 22 sports are scheduled in the Games, which involve 4,537 athletes from 77 countries and entities, including Refugee Paralympic Team. The closing ceremony of the Games will take place on September 5, 2021.