Ramil Guliyev becomes famous in less than 10 seconds

Sprint athlete won 200m final at World Athletics Championships in London and run 100 metres in 9.97 seconds
Sprint athlete won 200m final at World Athletics Championships in London and run 100 metres in 9.97 seconds

Ramil Guliyev. An open and smiling person with intelligent eyes. A man of the world who speaks and thinks in Russian, in Azerbaijani and in Turkish. He achieved an almost impossible thing, becoming the second white sprinter of all time, who managed to run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds. The first was Christophe Lemaitre of France. In total, about 100 athletes have surpassed the ten seconds mark in history of 100 meters.

But it wasn't all Guliyev's victories - he won 200m final at World Athletics Championships in London - a distance, which was refused by the legendary Usain Bolt. On August 10, Ramil showed a result in the final race, which almost beat Bolt's record.

Guliyev with his "colleague" Bolt and his coach Mukhin after winning the race

27-year-old Ramil Guliyev's path to victory was thorny, but there are no self-made people in sports. Too much depends on a coach and training conditions ...

He was born in Baku in 1990, which has always had a strong sprint school, even in the times of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijanis trained sprinters for the national team, and these traditions were preserved. He represented Azerbaijan at the Olympics in 2008 and at the World Championships in 2009. In 2010, being a citizen of Azerbaijan, he signed an annual contract with Turkey's Fenerbahce sports club. It cannot be said that athletics was not in favor in Azerbaijan at that time, but the conditions proposed by Turkey turned out to be more preferable for Guliyev's self-realization.

In addition, Ramil was greatly influenced by the death of his father and trainer Eldar Guliyev, allegedly, it's conflicts with sports officials which brought him down.

Ramil could run for Russia, where he is named representative of the Soviet sprint training, the heir of Valery Borzov, the famous sprinter who interrupted the hegemony of black American runners at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games, overtaking them at distances of 100 and 200 meters. Now Guliyev is coached by Russian coach Oleg Mukhin. Ramil also works with Oktai Mirzoev from Baku, a pedagogue engaged in scientific research in the field of the theory and methodology of athletics.

At one time Guliyev was even going to take up Russian citizenship, but it did not work out either. "I wanted to represent Russia. We spoke on this subject with the leadership of the federation. But it has been far too long, there were many bureaucratic moments. So when I received an offer from Turkey, and I went to this country," the champion said.

Former head coach of the Russian national team Valentin Maslakov said that they offered Ramil to train him in Saransk or Cheboksary, but local athletics centers rely on endurance, not sprinting. That was how Russia has lost both the high-quality coach and his prospective student, although they still use the Russian training base in Novogorsk.

After the transfer to Turkey, Guliyev was blocked for four years because of the change of citizenship and could not perform officially, then, in early 2014, he was injured, had surgery and recovered for another six months. The  Fenerbahce club rented him an apartment, gave a scholarship and said: "Train, choose any place - base, gym, stadium. If there is a result - there will be bonuses. "

But Ramil was able to fully prepare only in 2015, and over the past two years has shown excellent results at the World Championships, at the Olympics in Rio and Islamic Solidarity Games  in Baku, but as a representative of Turkey.

After the victory in London, Ramil was congratulated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Celebrating the victory, the champion raised both Turkish and Azerbaijani flags to show that he had not forgotten about his homeland. "It is not just my victory, but for the entire Azerbaijani people. I knew that my people will support me. I am from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan and Turkey are one people, two states. So I raised the national flags of both countries, it's an honor for me," Ramil Guliyev said.


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