Khazar Isayev: "Baku holds top-level competitions thanks to work of Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva"

The FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup opened in Baku yesterday. The vice-president of the National Olympic Committee Khazar Isayev, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza on the sidelines of the event, told about the development of gymnastics in Azerbaijan.

- How do you assess the start of the World Cup in Baku?

- It is not the first international gymnastics competition for Baku. We have all kinds of gymnastics, and we hold tournaments in all of them regularly. The World Cup is one of them, and I think that these are very favorable competitions, because in only two months, the Islamic Solidarity Games will be held in Baku, so the World Cup is a kind of preparation for them. Of course, Azerbaijan is ready to hold the Islamic Solidarity Games not only in gymnastics, but also in other sports, in accordance with all the safety requirements. Gymnastics is one of the most favorite sports in this republic, the people love it, that's why these competitions are so interesting. A big plus is that our athletes have shown good results, and we hope that they will win medals. I wish them the best of luck!

- What allowed Azerbaijan to become one of the world's gymnastics centers?

- First of all, due to the care of the government. Azerbaijan's President, President of the National Olympic Committee Ilham Aliyev pays great attention to this sport. The Vice President of Azerbaijan, the First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva heads the  Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation. All gymnastic competitions in the republic, in fact, are held under their leadership - that's why we have everything at the highest level.

- How do you assess the work of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation?

- The sports team is prepared at the highest level. Our young gymnasts, in particular those who have recently finished their gymnastics career, are very active in the work of the Federation. In addition, thanks to the holding of the First European Games, we gained a lot of experience. Each competition shows the whole world that Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan is a sports city.

- At what stage is the preparation for the Islamic Solidarity Games now?

- The definition of participants continues. The base for holding Islamic Solidarity Games is ready, which, again, was greatly helped by the experience of the First European Games. Currently, work is underway to prepare the work of the media. We will sign relevant contracts with each TV company that will be represented here, main efforts are being focused on this. In general, even in the smallest details of the organization, Azerbaijan is already ready to hold Islamic Solidarity Games at the highest level.

-What is the current level of cooperation between the Olympic Committees of Azerbaijan and Russia?

- We love and respect Russia, because this is our closest friendly neighbor. Russia and Azerbaijan have always been close to each other, we have never had much trouble and we will not have, because we are almost one nation, despite the fact that Azerbaijan is a Muslim state, and Russia is a Christian state. Our relations are so close that differences between us do not matter. We all lived together in the USSR, I once represented the Soviet Union at competitions, that is, we have a common Motherland. Our sports relations are extremely close.

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