MX23RW : Tuesday, November 20 14:18:59

Ilham Zakiyev: "I promised the president I would win"

Ilham Zakiyev, an Azerbaijani judo champion at the European Games in Baku, reveals that he had promised his country's president he would win gold.

Azerbaijan's Ilham Zakiyev has revealed that he had promised his country's president that he would claim gold at the European Games in Baku.

The 35-year-old kept his word when he sealed victory in the +90kg visually impaired category against Ukraine's Oleksandr Pominov at the Heydar Aliyev Arena.

"All of Azerbaijan was waiting for me. I promised the president I would win, and I did it," Zakiyev told reporters.

Zakiyev, a former solider, lost his sight when he was shot by a sniper while on military patrol in 1999, leaving him in a coma for five days.

However, Zakiyev fought back from his injuries to become Paralympic champion in 2004 and 2008.


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