FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup kicks off in Baku

The FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Cup has opened at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku today. 

The parade of flags of the countries participating in the World Cup was held. Azerbaijan’s national anthem was performed.

Head of the Department of Youth Policy and Sports Issues of the Administration of the President of Azerbaijan Yusuf Mammadaliyev, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku, welcomed the guests and athletes from 41 countries.

"Being proud of the athletes’ high results achieved in the international competitions, Azerbaijan, has now become a venue regularly hosting the events of this kind. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is the author of the sports’ successes of Azerbaijan which organized the European Games, the Islamic Solidarity Games, Formula-1 Grand Prix and other competitions at the high level for the last few years. Thanks to mr. president’s unprecedented activity, all the conditions have been created for the young citizens of our country to engage in sports and improve their performance levels at the Olympic centers, sports schools and clubs operating in all the regions of our republic. We are pleased to realize that gymnastics is currently developing in our republic, male and female athletes successfully represent our country in the international competitions in various gymnastics disciplines," he said.

Yusuf Mammadaliyev noted that the popularity of gymnastics among teenagers and young people is significantly growing, the number of people engaged in this sports discipline increases year by year as a result of the constant attention and care shown to the development of gymnastics by the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Mehriban Aliyeva.

"The fact that Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation took the first place in the ranking list of the (FIG in 2017 and 2018, is a witness of this attention and an indicator of the efficient activity carried out for the development of gymnastics in our country," he said.

Head of the Department of Youth Policy and Sports Issues of the Presidential Administration noted that according to the number and organization quality of the competitions held on the European and international levels throughout the year, as well as facilities of the competition venue, Baku can now be considered as one of the world's gymnastics centers.

"During just this year, 7 international events will be held in Baku in various gymnastics disciplines. This is a great honor for us. At the same time, it is a big responsibility for us as a great confidence is shown to us by the world’s sports community. I am sure that we will cope with this responsible task with dignity," Mammadaliyev stressed.

The qualifying competitions will be held today and tomorrow. The qualifications will be followed by the finals on the last 2 days.

Today, the qualifying competitions will be held in men's floor exercise, men's parallel bars and men's ring, as well as women's vault and women's uneven bars.

On March 15, the qualifying competitions will be held in the men's vault, men's pommel horse, men's horizontal bar exercises, as well as women's floor exercise and women's balance beam exercise.

The finals in the men's floor exercise, men's parallel bars, men's ring, as well as finals in women's vault and women's uneven bars will be held on March 16.

The finals in the men's vault, men's pommel horse, men's horizontal bar, as well as finals in women's balance beam and women's floor exercise will be held on March 17. 

According to the new rules, the World Cup is a qualifying event for Tokyo-2020 Summer Olympic Games. 170 gymnasts from 41 countries will contest medals at the tournament. Azerbaijan will be represented by Marina Nekrasova, Murad Agharzayev, Ivan Tikhonov and Nikita Simonov. Russia will be represented by Maria Paseka, Anastasia Ilyankova, Varvara Zubova, Alexey Rostov, Vladislav Polyashov and Denis Ablyazin.

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