In the wake of the Judo World championships, was held the 9th Baku International Karate Open. Rafael Aghayev, the child of the country, did not fight. But he did not come as a tourist. The five-time world champion, always available, shone with his kindness and broke his record of autographs and selfies with the Azerbaijani kids.
He’s undoubtedly a star ! In Tokyo, in Berlin, in Paris… The pattern is reproduced. He can hardly make a meter without signing autographs or having his picture taken to immortalize the moment. So, let’s imagine at home, in Baku… Moreover during a karate tournament….
In this case, it was the 9th Baku Open, which took place last weekend at the « Sports Hall », in the center of the capital of Azerbaijan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. 850 karatekas, from youngest categories to veterans, met to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Karate in the Soviet Union, so in Azerbaijan. Coming from 14 countries and clubs from all regions of the nation, the fighters had two motivations : to win and to meet the cherished child of Azerbaijani Karate, their star, their model, their example. Even when he doesn’t fight, all eyes are turned to him.
Saying that Rafael Aghayev was not idle is an euphemism. Even when he eclipsed to meet another great champion of his country, Judoka Hidayet Heydarov, fresh bronze medalist at the World championships. Adidas, who organized this great meeting (videos soon to come), had moved away from the crowd, found a quiet spot on one of the gym’s terraces. But the kids quickly flushed out the champions. Then the word is gone. Too late for some of them. « Rafael is not here anymore ? »… The last informed ones were sorry.
They quickly smiled again when they saw him inside the gym. Because Rafael Aghayev did not come an hour or two, just for good conscience. He was present almost continuously for three days. The five-time world champion wanted to give back what he was given.
Always with such good humor and simplicity, the world star of Karate lends itself to the game, never saying no. It makes the Azerbaijani kids dream and hopes that all these kids get out of their ordinary thanks to Karate, like him. To see the eyes of these children shine, he has already won his bet : to create dreams and certainly vocations. Among all these children, maybe there was a new Rafael Aghayev ?