Azerbaijan’s athlete Sanan Suleymanov stormed to European championship gold in the men’s Greco-Roman wrestling on Tuesday, beating an athlete from Hungary, Zoltan Levai.
“I was the first time I performed in the EURO’s 77 kg weight category,’’ said Suleymanov, according to a report by Azerisport.
‘‘My weight is 75 kg now, so no one expected a medal from me. I also did not believe I would rise to the honorary pedestal. This made it possible to fight without feeling any pressure.’’
Suleymanov, aged 23, won his first European title and brought his country its first gold medal of the championships.
‘‘Thanks to the coaches for believing in me. I dedicate my victory to everyone who are happy with it, especially to my family,” the Azerbaijani athlete said.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s Eldaniz Azizli took home a bronze after beating Italy’s athlete, Giovanni Freni, in the 55 kg weight category. Another bronze medal for Azerbaijan was grabbed by Islam Abbasov who overcame Eividas Stankevicius from Lithuania in the 87 kg weight category.
Rafig Huseynov, also from Azerbaijan, managed to reach the final of the championship, after defeating Tyrone Sterkenburg from Netherlands, Bogdan Kuorinnoi from Sweden, and Ciro Russo from Italy in the 82 kg weight category. In the final, which is scheduled for February 12, he is expected to fight with Bulgarian wrestler Daniel Aleksandrov.
This year’s European Wrestling Championships, which is the 71st competition of its kind, began on February 10 and runs through February 16. The competition features a combination of Men’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, as well as Women’s Freestyle. The event is organized by the United World Wrestling (UWW), an international governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling, whose flagship event is the World Wrestling Championships.