BP continues to support seven national athlete ambassadors as they prepare for the Games and beyond
In the Baku 2017 Games Farida won silver medal
Holder of leading European and World championship titles and BP’s female athlete ambassador, Farida Azizova started practicing taekwondo when she was seven. Her career progressed quickly and by the time she was 12 she had won a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships in Turkey in 2008.
Sport type: Taekwondo Place of birth: Gusar Age: 21 Height: 1.74 Weight: 67 kg
The following year she won a gold medal in the European Youth Championship and a bronze medal in the European Junior championship. Moving up to senior competitions in 2011 and 2012, Farida has since won two gold medals in international tournaments. In 2013 she won a bronze medal at the world championship in Puebla and another bronze at the 2014 European championship in Baku. In 2015 she won a silver medal at the Baku-2015 European Games. Two years ago she was awarded a "Progress" medal with the resolution of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for her high achievements during the Baku 2015 European Games and her major contribution to the development of Azerbaijani sports.
In the Baku 2017 Games Ilham secured bronze medal.
A living legend, Ilham Zakiyev, winner of multiple European and World championships, the face of Paralympic movement of Azerbaijan, and the newly elected vice-president of the Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan, is representing BP during the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games.
Sport type: Para-judo Place of birth: Sumgait Age: 37 Height: 190 Weight: 148 kg
At 18, he joined the Army and was wounded in his head by a sniper during a combat mission in February, 1999. As a result, he completely lost his sight. After a long rehabilitation, he returned to judo but as a Paralympic. Currently he is the holder of a 6-dan black belt. He won gold medals during the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics Games in the +100 kg category. He is a six-time European champion and two-time world champion. At the London Olympic Games in 2012 he won a bronze followed by a gold medal at the Baku 2015 Games. He is a holder of Shohrat (Honour) Order for his great contribution to the development of Azerbaijani sport.
In the Baku 2017 Games Haji won gold medal
Haji was BP’s athlete ambassador in the Baku Games 2015 and the Rio 2016 Games. He landed bronze in both competitions. He is also a double gold medalist at the world championship level.
Sport type: Freestyle wrestling Place of birth: Nakhcivan Age: 25 Height: 170 cm Weight: 68 kg
His first success was a silver medal at the European Junior Championship in 2008. In 2011, Haji won a second silver medal at the European Junior Championship. In 2012 he gained a team silver in the Wrestling World Cup in Baku, winning all his events and receiving a special gold medal from the International Wrestling Federation. In 2013 Haji won bronze medal in the Universiade in Kazan in the Russian Federation. In 2014 he won European and world champion titles. Currently he tops the World Freestyle Wrestlers ranking list.
In the Baku 2017 Games Ilaha secured silver medal.
A bronze medalist of Baku-2015 European Games and BP’s new joiner female athlete ambassador, Ilaha Gasimova was inspired by Bruce Lee films to take up sports when she just nine years old.
Sports: Karate Place of birth: Baku Age: 24 Height: 1.64 Weight: 55 kg
A graduate of the Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Training and Sport, Ilaha is the 13-time national karate champion of Azerbaijan. She gained her first international victory in Russia in 2003, where she came third. She is the holder of the Progress medal.
In the Baku 2017 Games Oleg secured bronze medal
Also a third time BP Ambassador, Oleg Panyutin is a gold medal hunter. He set a new world record in the long jump at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004 where he secured a gold medal.
Sports: long jump Place of birth: Baku Age: 34 Height: 1.64 Weight: 55 kg
Since then he has won (2005) gold medals at both the European and Open European championships. Despite a serious injury, he competed in his second Paralympics in 2008 where he won a bronze medal. In 2009, he won gold in the Long Jump and Silver in the Triple Jump. He demonstrated the same results at the Italian Open Championship. Oleg secured gold medals in 2011 IPC World Championship, and 2005, 2012 and 2014 IPC European Championship. As a BP ambassador in London 2012, Oleg won gold medal in the long jump.
In the Baku 2017 Games Olokhan secured gold and bronze medals.
A winner of several gold medals and a BP Ambassador for the third time, Olokhan is another role model Paralympic champion, this time in shot putting.
Sports: shot putting Place of birth: Balaken Age: 37 Height: 1.64 Weight: 55 kg
He started his sports career as a weightlifter but retired in 2007 when he injured his left arm. He then moved into shot putting. He had immediate success winning the world tournament in Thailand but later that year suffered another injury to his arm. Despite this, he took part in the Beijing Paralympic Games in 2008 where he set a new world record and won a gold medal. Since then Olokhan has won the first place in 2009 and 2011 World Championships. He gained another gold medal in 2014 Swansea IPC Athletics European Championship.
In the Baku 2017 Games Rustam secured silver medal and gold medal as part of team competition.
World number One judoka under the men’s 73kg, Rustam is a new BP athlete ambassador.
A graduate of the Sports Academy, his first international tournament was in 2007 in the 1st Eurasian Cadet Sport Games in Brest, Belarus. There he won the gold medal.
Type of sport: Judo Place of birth: Irkutsk, Russia Age: 25 Height: 1.79 Weight: 73
He is also a gold medalist at the Eurasian Youth Games held in Belarus (2013) and European judo champion in 2016. He also won a bronze medal as a part of the national team at the European Championship. At the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games he won a silver medal when he was awarded the first-degree order for "Service to the Motherland."