Azerbaijan welcomes 2018 Baku world champions to team

In an incredible twist, Syed Morley’s story continues. Originally a competitor from Iran when he won the world championship in 2018, and now from Mongolia, we can now officially welcome Molei to the European Judo family.

His story is still fresh in the memory, and given the political ties or lack thereof between Iran and Israel, most will remember the heartbreaking 2019 World Championship experience in Tokyo, which contrasted sharply with the reality of the athletes. The devastation is palpable, but the international support for Molay has prompted him to move to Mongolia, and now that his contract has expired, he can’t wait to apply for a position with the Azerbaijani team that could be his last Olympic cycle. .

Exciting events for Mollaei at the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo. © Carlos Ferreira

I am very happy to give the Azerbaijani team the last chance to participate in the Paris Olympics. I hope to achieve the best results like the previous Tokyo Olympics.

This was not a decision taken lightly, and while he is happy with his position in Mongolia, he understands that his position in Mongolia could rob others of opportunities.

The Mongolian team has two good young people and it is important that I give them a chance to play in the Olympics, while the Azerbaijani team has been looking for me for many years and we decided that we can play for the Azerbaijani team in Paris. This is suitable for me because my family is originally from Azerbaijan in Iran and I know the Azerbaijani language and culture.

Mollaei achieved great success in Mongolia, winning an Olympic silver medal in Tokyo. © Gaby Juan

Before Mongolia, he was also training in Germany, which means he will be reunited with Azerbaijan’s new head coach Richard Troutman. Molay is looking forward to that, given Troutman’s good record at the previous Olympics and coaching.

It wasn’t an easy road for Mollaei, but it seemed like the perfect match. The team needed a proper -81kg representative and although they tried Hidayat Heydarov it was clear he was built for the -73kg and had his European trophy two weeks ago. The championship title confirms that. Azerbaijan’s last European title in the -81kg category was Olympic champion Ernur Mamadli in the -73kg category in 2011.

My life was tough, but now I’m happy to be a free person. I have always shown the world that the brave will always win and thank all the Mongolian people and most importantly the Judo Federation and all the people of my dear country Iran and all the people of the world. Thanks to the Judo family, I hope they are always healthy and smiling.

Author: Thea Cowan


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