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European Games: First Armenian `gold' in Baku

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#1 Yervant1


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Posted 15 June 2015 - 03:16 PM

European Games: First Armenian `gold' in Baku

SPORTS | 14.06.15 | 11:24


Unwelcome: Armenian athletes get booed at during Baku Games opening

Despite all the booing and hissing from the hostile crowd in Baku,
Russia's ethnic Armenian wrestler Stepan Maryanyan managed to win the
gold medal at the first-ever European Games taking place in the
Azerbaijani capital.

The match between Maryanyan and Soslan Daurov from Belarus in the
men's 59kg Greco-Roman final took place in extraordinary conditions as
spectators in the hall were exerting great psychological pressure on
the Armenian all the time.

`It wasn't easy,' Maryanyan said as quoted by Associated Press after
the match. `I tried not to pay attention to that weight in the hall,
the pressure. I actually enjoyed myself, even though they had that
attitude toward me.'

On the way to the final Maryanyan beat Armenia representative Roman
Amoyan as well as Elman Mukhtarov, a Greco-Roman wrestler from
Azerbaijan who was fiercely supported by the home crowd during the

Later, Amoyan lost to Mukhtarov in the bronze medal match that also
took place in conditions of spectator pressure on the Armenian.
According to media reports, Amoyan was even booed while he was
receiving treatment for a head cut.

Twenty-four other Armenian athletes are due to compete in six sports
(sambo martial arts, shooting, judo, wrestling, boxing, and taekwondo)
at the Games that will be held through June 28.

The Armenian delegation was already booed and hissed at during the
athletes' parade at the Games opening ceremony on Friday.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a bitter conflict over
Nagorno-Karabakh since the late 1980s. More than 30,000 people were
killed in the Armenian-Azerbaijani war in 1992-1994. Despite the
current ceasefire soldiers on both sides continue to lose their lives
in cross-border skirmishes.

The National Olympic Committee of Armenia made the decision to send
athletes to Baku after representatives of the International and
European Olympic committees as well as the government of Azerbaijan
provided security guarantees for them.

Some leading athletes, including world wrestling champions Arsen
Julfalakyan and Artur Alexanyan, decided to skip the Games, officially
explaining their decisions by the need to train for the world
championships due in September.

Many in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora have also criticized the
country's sporting community for its decision to send athletes to the
Games that are widely viewed as a means for Azerbaijan's authoritarian
regime to promote its international image.

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#2 Yervant1


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Posted 15 June 2015 - 03:19 PM

European Games: Armenian wrestler wins a silver medial in Baku

21:39, 14 Jun 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Armenian Greco-Roman wrestler Mihran Harutyunyan (66 kg) won a silver
medal at the European Games in Baku.

In the final Harutyunyan lost 0:2 to Artem Surkov of Russia.

The Armenian wrestler defeated opponents from Spain, Bulgaria, Serbia
and Azerbaijan to reach the final.

According to Reuters, Armenian Mihran Harutyunyan failed to win his
nation's first European Games gold medal, losing in the final of the
men's 66kg Greco-Roman wrestling, much to the delight of a vociferous
Azeri crowd on Sunday.

Silver medalist Harutyunyan was subjected to a hostile reception from
home spectators who chanted `Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan' and cheered
wildly for his Russian opponent and gold medalist Artem Surkov
throughout an electric bout.

Harutyunyan's compatriot Maksim Manukyan also fell short in the bronze
medal bout for the men's 85kg event, losing in another highly-charged
affair against Turkey's Metehan Basar.

Both Harutyunyan and Manukyan had enraged the crowd earlier by beating
home favorites on their way to the latter stages before quickly
disappearing into the safety of the changing rooms to escape the
cacophony of noise.

`It is clear the judges were influenced by the public,' Harutyunyan
told reporters. `No matter, it is what I expected before I came here.
It was very difficult for me to focus with all the pressure that was
on me.

`However, it is very important for my country that we are here, each
victory (in the preceding rounds) was important and an enormous amount
is expected of us back home.'

On Saturday, Games chief Simon Clegg told reporters the events
organizers were aware that anti-Armenian feeling would run high but
said they were well prepared for any eventuality.

Armenian athletes had been loudly booed and jeered during the opening
ceremony of the inaugural European Games in Baku, which run from June
12 to June 28.


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#3 Yervant1


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Posted 15 June 2015 - 03:20 PM

Armenian Athletes in Baku Under Horrible Pressure

Country - 14 June 2015, 21:29

Putin Leaves for Baku With Fears
Artsakh Veterans Addressed Armenian Athletes and Officials
Ramil Safarov Longing for Gagik Tsarukyan

`Armenia's 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Greco-Roman wrestler Roman
Amoyan left the Baku arena bloodied, beaten and with the Azerbaijan
crowd'his country's bitter enemies'booing and giving him the thumbs
down sign yesterday after his 59 kilogramme bronze medal play-off,'

`The spectators'who had been called upon earlier in the day by
European Games chief operating officer Simon Clegg to put historic
disagreements aside and show their appreciation of the athletes'could
not resist rubbing in the humiliation after he was outclassed by Azeri
opponent Elman Mukhtarov. Although the arena was not fi lled to
capacity the crowd made their feelings clear from the start and booed
even when the 31-year-old' who had been seen as a favourite for
gold'received medical attention for a head wound he suff ered when
Mukhtarov's chin connected with it. Amoyan'a three-time world minor
medallist and double European champion'was so disappointed he just
hopped on the team bus to return to the athlete's village refusing to
impart his feelings,' www.gulf-news.com informs.


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#4 Yervant1


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Posted 16 June 2015 - 09:59 AM


17:36 15/06/2015 Â" POLITICS

Azerbaijan tried to use the European Games to improve its own
reputation, but what it got was just the opposite, political analyst
Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan told reporters on Monday.

Azerbaijan found itself in a different situation. War began in the
media and political fields and the difference between Azerbaijan and
the West became particularly evident, said the expert.

The expert noted that information warfare goes on in rather tough
conditions and many media outlets even refused to cover the European
Games as they witnessed violence and human rights violations. "The
Games gave an opportunity to label Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan's
dictatorship was in fact confirmed," he said.

"Both the sportsmen and those covering the Games saw Azerbaijan's
true face which had been hidden by that country's leadership for many
years," Melik-Shahnazaryan stressed.


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