Baku ready for Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship in Gymnastics

By: Amina Nazarli

The Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship in Gymnastics will kick off in Baku on March 4.

Some 133 gymnasts from 22 countries will compete for medals both in the all-around and individual events. The participants have already arrived in Baku.

Such famous gymnasts as two-time World champion Yana Kudravceva (Russia), Olympic silver medalist Filip Ude (Croatia), Europe champion Alexander Shatilov (Israel) and others will join the event.

The delegations said to be very satisfied with the facilities and manners of which they were received by Azerbaijan.

They also underlined that Baku is changing every day and that they are very glad to visit the city.

“I am here for the third time and I can see that Azerbaijan has made big efforts in terms of sports development,” said Croatian Mario Vuko, representative to the Technical Committee of the European Union of Gymnastics.

“Croatia is represented by our famous gymnast Ude. So, we are serious about upcoming start. The preparation to the European Games has been almost completed. I have no doubt that the Games will be held at high level. What about organization level, I can say that Azerbaijan will be number one in gymnastics soon,” he said.

“We were in Baku last year,” said Galina Marina from Latvia. “Every time we are surprised at how everything is changing. Of course for the better. We see your sportsmen’s improvement and development. I wish them good luck. The European Games is a very interesting event. In consideration of the conditions in Baku, we are looking at you with friendly envy.”

The Russian gymnastics team arrived in Baku with a strong delegation including eight-time world champion Yana Kudravceva. Her coach Elena Karpushenko shared her feelings about upcoming championship and the European Games.

“We hope that this start will be more successful for us than the last ones,” she said. “I think that the European Games is a very interesting project and I am glad that such tournaments have already started to be held.”

Elena said she loves Baku very much. “We were in Baku on the previous European Championships,” she noted. “I respect the main coach of your national team, Marina Vasilyeva. I like her efforts, approach, and requirements. I was delighted with the performance of your junior team in Hungary.”

The draw ceremony of gymnastics disciplines in the first Baku European Games will be held on March 3.

The biggest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history, the Baku 2015 European Games will attract more than 6,000 athletes to represent 49 countries in 20 sports.

There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. Eleven of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio Summer Olympics in 2016.

SOURCE: Azer News