Baku to host test wrestling tournament ahead of European Games

By: Amina Nazarli

Baku’s Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex will host the Cup of Azerbaijan Wrestling Federation, a test international wrestling tournament for youth on April 16-19.

The event will be held within the memorandum of cooperation signed between Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) and Wrestling Federation on March 10.

The memorandum was inked by Vice-President of Federation Namig Aliyev, General Secretary Ajdar Jafarov and Corporate Director of Baku 2015Elchhin Safarov.

Addressing the event, Aliyev said the format of this year competitions, in comparison with previous years will be changed. “A number of foreign countries applied to compete in the tournament. We expect about 450 sportsmen to take part in the event. This tournament will help us prepare for the European Games – to be held in the country in June,” he noted.

He also briefed on the new rules of the competition. “The tournament will be carried out according to the United World Wrestling’s rules. The color of the carpets will also be changed. The awarding ceremony will be held according to the European Games,” Aliyev said.

In January 2015, the UWW Executive Board held a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. The traditional yellow and red wrestling mats that have been used since 1972 Munich Summer Olympics have been replaced with dark blue and orange mats. Moreover, the referees who used to sport suits and ties will now be judging matches wearing polo shirts and trousers. It is believed that the new mats’ colors will improve TV audience’s experience. Safarov noted that the Federation Cup will be the first sport event to be held in the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex after its reconstruction.

Safarov said test events are an important part of BEGOC’s preparations for the first ever European Games.

“It will contribute to raising awareness for what will be a much-anticipated competition,” he said. “Azerbaijan has a rich history in wrestling, and I know that both the test event and the Baku 2015 competition will attract a lot of local support.”

The Heydar Aliyev Arena has hosted over 30 international events in various sporting disciplines. During the Baku 2015 European Games, the venue will be used for Wrestling on June 13-18, as well as for Judo on June 25-28 and Sambo on June 22.

Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place from 12 – 28 June 2015.

There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015 including 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.

Eleven of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Volleyball and Wrestling.

Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organize and run the Games in cooperation with the EOC.

The games will take place in 21 stadia and facilities in Baku and Mingachevir city, and will be broadcasted not only in Europe, but all over the world.

SOURCE: Azer News