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Gold-medal winner Firdovsi Farazaliyev "sad" not to compete in karate at Olympics

Karate gold medallist Firdovsi Farzaliyev admits that he is "sad" that his sport is not included in the Olympics.

Azerbaijan's first gold medal winner at the European Games has said that he is "sad" that he will not be able to compete in the Olympics in Rio next year.

Firdovsi Farzaliyev secured the host nation's first gold in Baku with victory in the -60kg kumite karate competition at the weekend.

With his sport having failed to win enough votes to be included in the Rio Games, the 21-year-old told reporters: "We want to see karate in the Olympics. I'm sad, and want to win an Olympic medal, to be the champion. Every athlete has this dream. It's not a tragedy, and I'm happy to win the European Games. It's almost at the same level. I value it.

"If we talk about its value as an event, personally for me this makes it very important. Having karate in the presence of world-level athletes here is certainly important.

"The event level means there is care given to its management and organisation, and we have the president's attention too. It all makes me excited. Just talking about it, I'm so excited it is difficult for me to deliver to you what I have in my brain."

Azerbaijan currently sit second in the medal table with seven golds, two silvers and seven bronzes.

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A general view of the Baku Olympic Stadium
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Result: Double gold for Azerbaijan, Turkey and France
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
Republic of KoreaRepublic of Korea1023
Ecuador flagEcuador1001
29  Great BritainGreat Britain0000
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-12.50pm)

· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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