Baku 2017 4th Islamic Solidarity Games Write Up

Osu karate lovers! The 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games brought together some of the biggest names in the karate world to compete in a large international competitive arena. Ganjzadeh, Kaya, Erkan, Ahkan, Saymatov, Eltemur, Ozcelik and one of the greatest of all time Aghayev were all in attendance at the tournament looking to stamp their authority on a large scale international event after recent performances at the European Championships and ahead of other continental championships and Karate1 international tournaments.

Taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan the Azerbaijan team had a lot of home team support with other federations and teams bringing their own followers and fans to cheer on their athletes as they took to the mats. Every category had a collection of international medalists and champions making the tournament a real spectacle and giving it the feel of a continental or world championship event.

We break down each category running through the medal takers and star performers in each division starting with the Kata portion of the tournament.


Female Kata
Bronze medals in the female kata event went to Indonesia’s Sisilia Ora and Karate1 Premier League medalist Mahsa Afsaneh of Iran. In the final match Egypt’s Aya Hesham had to settle for Silver as Dilara Bozan, who claimed a Bronze at the recent EKF European Championships, took victory and the title.

1. Dilara Bozan TUR
2. Aya Hesham EGY
3. Mahsa Afsaneh IRI
3. Sisilia Ora INA

Male Kata
The male kata event was on par with the ladies and equally competitive, the bronze medals went to Abolfazl Shahrjerdi of Iran and Zeyad Abdelrahman of Egypt. The vastly seasoned Memet Yakan was defeated in the final match taking Silver against former WKF Youth Cup champion Roman Heydarov of Azerbaijan.

1. Roman Heydarov AZE
2. Memet Yakan TUR
3. Abolfazl Shahrjerdi IRI
3. Zeyad Abdelrahman EGY


Female Kumite -50Kg
The final of the female -50Kg event included one of the brightest stars of world karate Serap Ozcelik of Turkey, who took Bronze at the recent Europeans. However she was unable to defeat Nasrin Dousti (Iran) in the event final and had to settle for silver against the Karate1 Premier League Bronze medalist. Bronze medals were taken by Imane Tale of Algeria and former European medalist Nurana Aliyeva of Azerbaijan.

1. Nasrin Dousti IRI
2. Serap Ozcelik TUR
3. Imane Taleb ALG
3. Nurana Aliyeva AZE

Female Kumite -55Kg
Tarvat Khaksar (Iran) and Cok Istri Agung Sanistyarani (Indonesia) each took 3rd on the podium in this category. Former Junior European Bronze medalist Ilaha Gasimova of Azerbaijan was unable to secure victory in the event final losing out to Yassmin Hamdy (Egypt) who took the title.

1. Yassmin Hamdy EGY
2. Ilaha Gasimova AZE
3. Cok Istri Agung Sanistyarani INA
3. Tarvat Khaksar IRI

Female Kumite -61Kg
Bronze medalists in this category were no strangers to international glory Merve Coban claimed a Bronze medal at the European Championships in Turkey earlier this month and Barno Mirzaeva is a former Bronze medalist from the Asian Championships. Farida Abiyeva (Azerbaijan) was victorious in the final against World Universities Silver medalist Rozita Alipour (Iran) who was forced to settle for Silver.

1. Farida Abiyeva AZE
2. Rozita Alipour IRI
3.  Merve Coban TUR
3. Barno Mirzaeva UZB

Female Kumite -68Kg
Former Junior World and European champion Irina Zaretska of Azerbaijan took the title in this category defeating the rising Eda Eltemur of Turkey in the final. Bronze medals were taken by Nada Sayed (Egypt) and Hala Traish (Jordan).

1. Irina Zaretska AZE
2. Eda Eltemur TUR
3. Nada Sayed EGY
3. Hala Traish JOR

Female Kumite +68Kg
Farida Aliyeva of Azerbaijan tasted defeat in the final against Meltem Hocaoglu from Turkey who claimed victory in the event after a Bronze medal performance from the European Championships in Turkey this month. Imene Atif of Algeria and Junior Asian Bronze medalist Mohaddesh Aghaei of Iran each took a Bronze medal.

1. Meltem Hocaoglu TUR
2. Farida Aliyeva AZE
3. Imene Atif ALG
3. Mohaddeseh Aghaei IRI

Male Kumite -60Kg
The hottest star in the karate world at the moment Sadriddin Saymatov of Uzbekistan led the charge in the lighteweight male kumite event. With 3 back to back victories in the Karate1 Premier League he was in imperious form and after a repeat final from the Dubai Open Karate1 event his stock continued to rise with another victory against former European Champion Aykut Kaya of Turkey continuing Saymatov’s dominance over the -60Kg weight class. Bronze medals were not easy to come by with former World champion Amir Mehdizadeh of Iran and former WKF Youth Cup champion Firdovsi Farzaliyev claiming each.

1. Sadriddin Saymatov UZB
2. Aykut Kaya TUR
3. Amir Mehdizadeh IRI
3. Firdovsi Farzaliyev AZE

Male Kumite -67Kg
Bronze medals went to two of the most seasoned fighters in the category with former European Champion Omer Kemaloglu (Turkey) and former WKF Youth Cup champion Ali El-Sawy (Egypt) taking 3rd place. In the final Karate1 Premier League Champion Bashar Al-Najjar of Jordan took victory against Abdelatif Benkhaled of Algeria.

1. Bashar Al-Najjar JOR
2. Abdelatif Benkhaled ALG
3. Omer Kemaloglu TUR
3. Ali El-Sawy EGY

Male Kumite -75Kg
In arguably the most talent rich weight class in World Karate there were several big names claiming silverware at the tournament. This year’s European Bronze medalist and former Junior World and European champion Erman Eltemur (Turkey) claimed the first Bronze medal with Dastonbek Otabolaev (Uzbekistan) taking the second. In a hotly anticipated final former Asian champion Saadi Abbas Jalbani (Pakistan) had to accept the Silver medal against one of the greatest of all time, Azerbaijan’s multiple time World and European champion Rafael Aghayev, who continued to show his mastery of the division.

1. Rafael Aghayev AZE
2. Saadi Abbas Jalbani PAK
3. Dastonbek Otabolaev UZB
3. Erman Eltemur TUR

Male Kumite -84
Another familiar name Aykhan Mamayev (Azerbaijan) was victorious in the -84Kg division seeing off a strong challenge from Junior European champion Alparslan Yamanoglu (Turkey). Also on the podium were Abdulaziz Ataboev (Uzbekistan) and Mohamed El-Kotby (Egypt) lifting the Bronze medals.

1. Aykhan Mamayev AZE
2. Alparslan Yamanoglu TUR
3. Abdulaziz Ataboev UZB
3. Mohamed El-Kotby EGY

Male Kumite +84
The heavyweight podium was packed with international stars all of whom had claimed Karate1 Premier League titles, 3 had taken European titles and 2 had World titles to their name. Bronze medals went to former Junior European champion Asiman Gurbanli of Azerbaijan and Ahmed El-Asfar of Egypt. The final was contested between two fighters who know each other very well Sajjad Ganjzadeh of Iran and Enes Erkan of Turkey, both World champions. After a tense battle in the final Ganjzadeh was victorious claiming Gold and leaving Erkan to pick up the Silver medal.

1. Sajjad Ganjzadeh IRI World Champ
2. Enes Erkan TUR 2017 EURO Silver WORLD EURO K1PL Champ
3. Asiman Gurbanli AZE K1PL Champ Junior EURO Champ
3. Ahmed El-Asfar EGY K1PL Champ


The final medal table shows Azerbaijan as victorious after a commanding display of dominance from their kumite team along with a kata Gold.

 Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Azerbaijan 5 2 3 10
2  Turkey 2 6 3 11
3  Iran 2 1 5 8
4  Egypt 1 1 5 7
5  Uzbekistan 1 0 3 4
6  Jordan 1 0 1 2
7  Algeria 0 1 2 3
8  Pakistan 0 1 0 1
9  Indonesia 0 0 2 2
Total 12 12 24 48

The tournament pitted some of the most talented karateka in the world against each other throughout the course of the event and was able to show the parody in some of the categories with several shock results and reshuffles on the podium of the top competitors.

However other divisions continued to be controlled by their star performers. Putting those competitors in great position ahead of the next batch of Karate1 events and looming continental championships. Will the rich vein of form these athletes are enjoying continue or is a change in the status quo on the horizon?

We’re looking forward to seeing some of the athletes in action again at the EKF Championships for Regions at Kosovo and the Karate1 Series A event in Toledo!

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