Run, Hayle, Run!
This was a bit unexpected, to say the least. Most people around here don’t really even understand the concept of distance running. You should see the looks I get when I run in Lənkəran. It turns out that Azerbaijan spotted a distance runner in the 5k at the European Championships, in Barcelona, this year. And he got a medal! And a national record! At first, I couldn’t believe it. But then I found out he’s actually an Ethiopian. That makes more sense. Be careful with that particular Wikipedia page, though. Whoever made it is accusing Hayle of running an 8-minute 5k. That would be a crime if ever there were one (and Hayle would be in severe pain). The IAAF has a bit more reliable information. From that article above, though, this is my favorite quote:
The women’s marathon where Azerbaijani sprinter Gezashin Safarov took the 32nd place with 2:51:59 was also held on Saturday.
That’s quite a sprint.
Azeris are also making waves in another sport of mine, rowing. This is a little more believable. There are some other PCVs who know Azeris that row on the reservoir lake in Mingəçevir. Azeri rowers also made a splash at the World Cup championships in May. Though, I would like to note that the headline here leading you to believe they were champions is a bit misleading. They took third. And I also like how the rowers are referred to as canoeists. Brilliant.