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Spotlight Article

Primetime Baku: Azerbaijan’s Spotlight in International Sports

Azerbaijan American Alliance
April 27, 2015

The capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, has been in the spotlight in the world of international sports, as the city has become a host destination for the European Games and Formula One racing. Additionally, Azerbaijan has become a popular tourist destination and will continue to capture the attention of the world stage for its culture, diversity, and historical significance. As the athletic representatives from Azerbaijan prepare for these upcoming events, there are additional international competitions in which they can showcase their talents while simultaneously promoting their home country.

The European Games are scheduled from June 12 – 28, 2015 and will feature 50 countries participating in more than 30 sporting events that range from archery to water polo. Participating countries span across Europe and include Great Britain, France, Spain, and Turkey. As the games are just two months away, the countries have started to assemble their participants for the summer competition. The delegation of Great Britain will be sending more than 160 athletes to Azerbaijan, which is the largest contingent they have sent to an overseas competition since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. During the Beijing Olympics, Azerbaijan sent 44 athletes to compete in 10 sports. The country walked away with a total of seven medals, where one gold medal was earned in Judo, two silver medals in wrestling, and 4 bronze medals. Additionally, Azerbaijan sent 53 athletes to compete in 15 sports to the 2012 London Olympics where two gold, two silver, and six bronze medals were earned for the country. As athletes around the world prepare for the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil, many athletes look to participate in several international competitions so that they can continue to fine-tune their craft in an organized fashion.

Another competition that will feature participants from all Muslim-majority countries is the Islamic Solidarity Games, which will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2017. These games follow an identical format of occurrence of the summer Olympics, where the games are held once every four years. These games are coordinated through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which allows their 57 members to send representatives to partake in international competition. During the 2013 games that were hosted in Indonesia, Azerbaijan ranked eighth in total medal count where they received six gold, nine silver, and eight bronze medals. Throughout competition, Azerbaijan has proven themselves to be competitive in the arena of international sports, and will continue to improve their results moving toward the summer Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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