Altay Hasanov: "Baku becoming center of European sport"

Altay Hasanov: "Baku becoming center of European sport"

The European Championships in Trampoline, Tumbling and Double Mini-Trampoline came to an end in Baku. The vice-president of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Altay Hasanov told Vestnik Kavkaza about this important for European gymnastics event.

- How would you assess the results of the European Championships in Trampoline for the AGF?

- The Championship was another significant event in sports life of Azerbaijan and Europe. It was a significant tournament, attended by more than 400 gymnasts from 25 countries. We have thoroughly prepared, because we have experience in holding tournaments of this level. According to the interviews given by athletes, coaches, members of delegations and teams, we see that they are satisfied with the level of preparation and competitions in general. As for the results of our gymnasts, at the moment we have fulfilled one of the main tasks set for our team - they won licenses to participate in the Second European Games in Minsk. The fact that Baku native Mikhail Malkin, who passed all stages of his training in Azerbaijan, reached this peak, won a gold medal in tumbling, is very important for all of us - for him, his coach and our federation. Svetlana Makshtarova and Veronika Zemlyanaya also performed well, they won silver in synchronized trampoline competitions. Thanks to these results, the European Championship was successful for us and fulfilled its tasks.

Earlier, when the federation took its first steps after the restructuring in 2002, we mainly talked about the mass sports, that we integrate the regions and seek to learn from the grandees of European gymnastics. Now we can teach others how to organize major international tournaments. It's nice that we have a lot of know-how this time, for example, a mascot invited from abroad turned out to be a good idea, he encouraged people and cheered them up. This is the merit of our federation, the result of the creativity of employees and their leaders. As a result, there were a lot of spectators - people come to us now, fans and even tourists come from abroad to look at the competitions. Baku is becoming a European sports center, which makes us very happy and, at the same time, makes us work even harder. We have optimistic prospects as to the future, because now we have medals in trampoline that were not traditional type of gymnastics in Azerbaijan. Now this type of gymnastics is actively developing, the impulse was given by the Baku European Games three years ago, and thanks to the growing interest in gymnastics, we had the first victories.

- What's next for the AGF in the development of gymnastics in Azerbaijan?

- This year we will have two more international tournaments in rhythmic gymnastics, just this month - World Cups for both seniors and juniors. In addition, the qualification tournament for the Youth Olympic Games ex expected to be held in June. This year Azerbaijan will also hold the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships for the first time. The meeting of the Executive Committee of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation and the Congress of the International Gymnastics Federation are also planned this year.

- How has the AGF developed in recent years?

- The positive generation change is under way here - there are new people, young people who work very hard and make the federation's life interesting and very rich. A considerable, titanic work has been done in recent years, which is quite natural: it is impossible not to be successful, it is impossible not to reach heights and peaks under the leadership of First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva, who is the president of our federation. We have a very good, united team. Once its basis was created by Farid Gaibov, now he was appointed president of the  European Union of Gymnastics and left the AGF, but, as you can see, he came to the European Championships as an observer. Of course, he is actively working as president of UEG, recently I read in his interview about the desire to develop gymnastics in Europe - and one can say with confidence that he has already developed this sport in Azerbaijan.