Farid Gaibov expressed gratitude to Vestnik Kavkaza for popularizing gymnastics
Qualifications of the World Cup in Trampoline Gymnastics and Tumbling have ended in Baku. It is the first World Cup of the new Olympic cycle. Vice-President of the European Gymnastics Union, Secretary General of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Farid Gaibov discussed the development of this new sport in the country in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
"Gymnastics Federation equally develops six types of gymnastics - all of which are recognized by the International Gymnastics Federation. Four of them - Olympic, two - non-Olympic. We are better at some of them, we have more success in some of them, and we should catch up to others in some of them. Our National Gymnastic Arena allows us to hold competitions of local and international scale. It already hosted the European Championships, the first European Games, our athletes train there. We are trying to do everything possible so that arena wouldn't be empty," Gaibov said.
Speaking about the development of different types of gymnastics, he said: "A year before the European Games we added three new disciplines - aerobic (non-Olympic) and two Olympic - trampoline and women's artistic gymnastics. Our country develops them for just three years. It's necessary to hold competitions for people to understan what is it. We are responsible for the promotion of gymnastics, we want young people to be interested in it. The International Federation entrusted us with carrying out one of the four World Cups in 2019-2020. This cup will be qualifying for the Olympic Games. It's a very important World Cup on the calendar of any athlete."
Speaking about innovations, Gaibov noted: "We made a huge innovation. This is the first time in such important competition when the light focuses on the athlete. We have a new big monitor, illumination. In other words, we're not just organizing a competition, we're organizing a show, we work with the audience. The fact that we have audience is already a victory for me presonally and for Gymnastics Federation. People come more often, these sports are gradually becoming more and more popular."
Speaking about tumbling, Secretary General of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, said: "It's developed in Azerbaijan for a long time, but we didn't have much success. The first major success came last year at the European Championship - our athlete Mikhail Malkin reached the finals for the first time. Last year we hosted our first World Cup in Trampoline Gymnastics, and this year we also added tumbling, because next year we will host the European Championship. So it's like a test before the European Championship. We already have our star in tumbling - Mikhail Malkin. Today he performed pretty well. He has great, complex program, we have high hopes for him, we hope he will get even better. He made a small mistake in the first exercise, and because of that he was almost at the last place. But in the second exercise he recovered, collected his thoughts, and he did great. So he will perform in the finals."
Speaking about trampoline gymnastics, Gaibov noted the success of Ilya Grishunin: "He's our number one, captain of the team. He brought us medal during the European Games. Unfortunately, he was unable qualify for the Olympic Games during the World Cup. Only 16 people can go, one small mistake - and you lose everything. There's no second attempt, you can't make any mistakes. But today he represented his country with dignity and qualified for the finals. I hope he performs well in tomorrow's finals. Olympic champion, vice-Olympic champion of London Ushakov will perform together with him in the finals. There are a lot of serious rivals. But he performs in his home country, that should help."
Answering the question about how they manage come up with something new at the organizational level all the time, Gaibov said: "Government gave us a gift no one has. Many foreigners would love to have such arena. It would be a sin to not try to do something new. We have the opportunity, we can host competitions of any scale every day. We try to please the audience every time, attract them here. We have a very young team. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you. You're always helping us to promote gymnastics."
Today Baku will host the finals of the World Cup in Trampoline Gymnastics and Tumbling.