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Largest Ever Azerbaijani Team at London 2012 Boosts Baku 2020

Thirty-eight men and fourteen women, the largest team since Azerbaijan's independence in 1992, have so far qualified to compete at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

This means that the country will now be granted additional facilities by Games organizers, said a press release.

Baku 2020 CEO Konul Nurulayeva said, "this is an historic milestone for Team Azerbaijan - as well as an enormous boost to our dream of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

"Sport is deeply rooted in Azerbaijani culture. As far back as in our history as the 11th century, men and women were skilled in fencing and archery. Sport is a common theme in many of the nation's major literary epics and poems.

"Azerbaijan has a proud record competing in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, both as part of the Soviet Union, but also, starting with the 1996 Atlanta Games, as an independent nation. Since then, we have sent athletes to every Olympic Games - and Azerbaijani athletes have won a total of 16 medals at the Summer Olympic Games in wrestling, shooting, boxing and judo. At the 2008 Beijing Games we collected a gold, two silver, and four bronze medals.

"Bringing the Olympic Flame to Baku for the first time in 2020 will allow our country to fulfil its sporting potential, giving an enormous boost to the development and diversification of sport and society in Azerbaijan - and even further beyond".

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