Azerbaijani Wrestlers ready to shine. GETTY IMAGES

The first international competition of the year will take place in Croatia from10-15 January, and Azerbaijan already has its 28 athletes ready to represent the country in wrestling.

The Azerbaijan wrestling team has prepared its 28 athletes for the "Zagreb Open" wrestling tournament, which will be held in the capital of Croatia starting next week as part of an event organized by the United World Wrestling Federation (UWW).

The first international competition of the year 2024 will kick off on January 10-15. The Ranking Series event will begin with Freestyle, followed by Women's Freestyle, and will conclude with Greco-Roman. A total of 28 members of the national teams will test their skills alongside figures of the caliber of former world champions Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) and Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI), two of the prominent names returning to the Olympic weight classes.

It's worth noting that Wrestling is one of the historic sports of the Olympic Games. It was present in the Ancient Games and has been part of the Olympic program since Athens 1896, the first Games of the modern era.

For over a century, two events in this sport have been contested in the Olympic Games in the men's category: Freestyle Wrestling and Greco-Roman Wrestling. Both styles of this ancient sport will once again be featured in Paris 2024, along with Women's Freestyle Wrestling, which will commemorate its 20th year in the Olympic program.

The athletes representing the Eurasian country at the Zagreb Open will be:

In men's freestyle wrestling, Azerbaijan will be represented by Islam Bazarqanov (57 kilograms), Əliabbas Rzazadə, Nürəddin Novruzov (both 61 kilograms), Zirəddin Bayramov (65 kilograms), Cəbrayıl Qadjiyev (74 kilograms), Arsen Cioyev, Osman Nurməhəmmədov (both 86 kilograms), Giorgi Meşvildişvili, and Vaxit Qalayev (both 125 kilograms).

In women's wrestling, Elnurə Məmmədova (53 kilograms), Gültəkin Şirinova (55 kilograms), Jalə Əliyeva (57 kilograms), Alyona Kolesnik (59 kilograms), Birgül Soltanova (62 kilograms), and Elis Monolova (68 kilograms) will compete.

In Greco-Roman wrestling, Eldəniz Əzizli (55 kilograms), Nihat Məmmədli (60 kilograms), Murad Məmmədov (63 kilograms), Həsrət Cəfərov (67 kilograms), Ülvü Qənizadə (72 kilograms), Xasay Həsənli, Sənan Süleymanov (both 77 kilograms), İslam Abbasov, Rafiq Hüseynov (both 87 kilograms), Murat Lokyayev, Murad Əhmədiyev (both 97 kilograms), Sabah Şəriəti, and Beka Kandelaki (both 130 kilograms) will strive to win medals.