The Karate legend Rafael Aghayev
- Born on March 4th, 1985
- Country : Azerbaijan
- Category : -75kg, Open, -70kg
5 times World champion : 2006, 2008 (-70 kg, Open), 2010, 2016 and 2018. 2nd in 2012. 3rd in 2011, 2012.
- 10 times European
champion (from 2004 to 2018), 2nd in 2019, 2021.
He is seen as the best karateka of all times and his records speak for him. Born on March 4 th in 1985 in Sunqayit (Azerbaijan), Rafael Aghayev is a 5 times World champion (2006 in -70 kg, 2008 in -70 kg and Open, 2010 and 2016 in – 75 kg), which is the record in men’s history, and won 10 European titles
between 2004 and 2018.
Quite small (1,68 m), thickset, he uses his size as a weapon. Physically, he is a rock. Mentally, he is an ironman. Technically, he is a bomb. Rafael Aghayev has no weaknesses. He also has this proclivity to passionate spectators, to concentrate their attention. When he fights, all sights converge on him.
Besides his awesome records, to which we should add his victory in the 1 st European Games in June 2015, the Caucasian imp also creates his own style.
He loves to provoke, almost snubs his opponents. He likes to grap, stick, smiling while scoring, in other words, he likes to tease. Even if, with age going on, he bhas become wiser.
In the Olympic race, people feared that he would be too old to shine. But, at 36, despite a knee surgery in 2019, he will be at the Tokyo Games seeking for gold, as he has always done. 3 rd of Olympic ranking, winner of two Karate 1 (plus 4 medals), 3 rd of the 2018 World championships (the last ones), silver medalist of the 2 last European championships, Rafael Aghayev is still one of the main favorite for the Olympic gold.
By Ludovic Mauchien