POSTED: May 19th 2012

Baku 2020: Azerbaijan qualifies with biggest team ever for London 2012

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

May 19 – The Azerbaijan team has grown to 52 strong and marks the largest one ever at an Olympic Games for the nation making the 2020 bidding country officially a “large team”.

The new team of 38 men and 14 women is the biggest also since the independence in 1992 and has fueled the Olympic passion for the bid.

Konul Nurulayeva, Baku 2020 CEO, said, “This is an historic milestone for Team Azerbaijan – as well as an enormous boost to our dream of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.”

“Sport is deeply rooted in Azerbaijani culture. As far back in our history as the 11th century, men and women were skilled in fencing and archery. Sport is a common theme in many of the nation’s major literary epics and poems.

“Azerbaijan has a proud record competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, both as part of the Soviet Union, but also, starting with the 1996 Atlanta Games, as an independent nation. Since then, we have sent athletes to every Olympic Games – and Azerbaijani athletes have won a total of 16 medals at the Summer Olympic Games in wrestling, shooting, boxing and judo. At the 2008 Beijing Games, we collected a gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

 “Bringing the Olympic Flame to Baku for the first time in 2020 will allow our country to fulfil its sporting potential, giving an enormous boost to the development and diversification of sport and society in Azerbaijan – and even further beyond.”

The divisions of the qualified athletes are:

Men: swimming (1), athletics (1), boxing (7), sprint canoeing (1), equestrian (1), artistic gymnastics (1), judo (6), rowing (1), taekwondo (1), weightlifting (5) and wrestling (11).

Women: swimming (1), athletics (1), boxing (1), road cycling (1), fencing (1), rhythmic gymnastics (1), judo (2), rowing (1), shooting (1), taekwondo (1), weight lifting (1) and wrestling (2).

Baku is bidding against Doha, Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo for the 2020 summer Games and the final vote will be taken in September 2013 at Buenos Aires.

Keywords · Baku 2002 · Azerbaijan · London 2012 · Konul Nurulayeva

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