Baku holds a series of summer sports festivals
April day is the last for registration for Baku Marathon 2016. The marathon is 21-km long; it will start from the National Flag Square and finish near the Baku Olympic Stadium on May 1st. According to the organizors of the sports festival from Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the marathon is aimed at promoting sports and a healthy lifestyle Azerbaijan. Students participate in the marathon for free; others have to pay 20 manats. All the money will go to Heydar Aliyev Foundation for the project to help children deprived of parental care. A winner of the marathon will get 3000 manats; the second place - 2000 manats, and the third - 1000 manats.
Such charity marathons have already been held in London, Paris, Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, Barcelona, and Istanbul. “I urge everybody to join Baku Marathon 2016,” Leyla Aliyeva, the Vice President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, posted on her Istagram yesterday.
The marathon opens a series of summer sports festivals in Azerbaijan. 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe will be held in Baku on July 17th. Just as with Monaco and Singapore, the race will take place on Baku City Circuit. Race cars will drive by the Boulevard and make a circle around the national historic-architectural complex of Icheri Sheher, which is believed to be the oldest part of Baku and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Therefore, the guests and millions of TV viewers will have an opportunity to see the whole city. Representatives of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) regularly visit Baku with inspections these days. They are checking whether the Circuit meets the international standards from the point of view of pilots’ safety and the Circuit’s security in general.
Considering the fact that the Baku Grand Prix will take place in the city, all facilities for the 6-km Circuit will be built temporally. This year, 11 teams with two pilots in each team will participate in the races. Some 2500 people will visit the festival, including representatives of the teams, FIA, and the Formula One Management. The citizens of Baku are sure that the competition will play an important role for the country on the international arena and help Baku to attract tourists both at the regional and the international level.
The 42nd World Chess Olympiad which is organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) opening in Baku September 1, serves to reassure these expectations. More than 300 teams will participate in the tournament, that is why a spacious Crystal Hall has been chosen for hosting the Olympiad.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed Monday a decree on simplification of visa procedures for foreigners and persons without citizenship, who would arrive to Azerbaijan within the framework of the World Chess Olympiad. They could get visas in the consular sections of the Foreign Ministry, located in international airports of Azerbaijan. A person should have either an official letter of invitation from the Organizing Committee of Baku World Chess Olympiad or a document which confirms accreditation, according to FIDE rules.
FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos already visited Baku and was satisfied with preparations for the Olympiad: “Earlier, Baku hosted such major contests as FIDE Grand Prix, the World Cup, and so on. The World Chess Olympiad is the greatest chess contest; representatives of more than 175 countries are taking part in it. Baku will be in the focus of attention of chess fans all over the world. Therefore, organizer pay attention to every detail. The memorandum of cooperation between the Organizing Committee of the World Chess Olympiad and Baku hotels was signed during my visit to the Azerbaijani capital. I believe Azerbaijan will hold the best World Chess Olympiad in our history.”
All in all, more than 2.5 thousand grand chess masters will gather in Baku. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov assumes that the 42nd Olympiad may be the largest chess tournament in history. The media has already counted that Baku will gather more chess players than the 40th anniversary Olympiad in Istanbul in 2012 and the last-year tournament in Troms where delegates from 177 countries attended the event.