He is indestructible ! Bronze medallist at the World championships last November, Rafael Aghayev (-75 kg) has again struck in Paris for his first competition since Madrid. He qualified for the final on Sunday where he will fight, as in 2018, Japan’s Nishimura. Last year, the latter had won at the last second...
By Ludovic Mauchien
Rafael Aghayev was very joyful after his semifinal against Iran’s Asiabari. « This is the first tournament of the year 2019 and I am in the final. Everyone wants to go to the Olympics, me too. In addition, since two months, Azerbaijan has a new coach, Mr. Kandas. We set goals together. And the Paris Open is like a World championship ».
Injured in the face since his first fight (3 stitches on the chin) by Pakistan’s Ghulam Abbas, he fought the head bandaged all day. That did not stop him from winning over Croatia’s Garibovic (2-0) and then Japan’s Sakiyama in the quarter-finals after a good performance (5-0). « I felt very, very well today (read Friday 25). The hardest part was the first minute of my 1st fight because it was my first match since Madrid ».