Farid Gaibov: "We try to focus on all types of gymnastics"
Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) has started new season actively: since the beginning of the year Baku hosted international courses for rhythmic gymnastics judges of different levels twice, right now it hosts international courses for men's artistic gymnastics judges, and at the end of next week the capital of Azerbaijan will host this year's first major international tournament - Trampoline Gymnastics World Cup. Vice-President of the European Gymnastics Union, Secretary General of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Farid Gaibov discussed the AGF's achievements and future plans in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- Tell us about the latest decision of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) to give the right to host 2020 Men's Artistic Gymnastics European Championships in Baku.
- As you know, so far we have only hosted European championships in rhythmic gymnastics - 3 such tournaments were held in Baku in 2007, 2009 and 2014. In addition, we have previously agreed with the UEG that Baku will host Trampoline Gymnastics European Championships in 2018. And at the last meeting of the executive committee of the UEG last weekend it was decided to give Baku the right to host 2020 Men's Artistic Gymnastics European Championships.According to FIG rules, the winners of the tournament will get licences for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which gives this tournament additional significance.
- What are Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation's plans for the upcoming continental championships?
- Over the past years rhythmic gymnastics was the most advanced type in Azerbaijan, but today we are trying to focus on the development of six types of gymnastics. Each year Baku hosts world championships, we are holding events in all four Olympic disciplines. Moreover, UEG gave 2019-2020 championships, the winners of which will get licences for the Olympics, only to AGF. As for artistic gymnastics, we are also rapidly developing in this type of gymnastics. Last European Games are a great example of this. Our male gymnasts won 5 medals. We have absolute leader - talented Oleg Stepko. In 2016, national youth team of Azerbaijan took part in the team European championship. According to the rules, athletes can participate in the European championships every two years, in other words, they will compete next year and then two years later they will participate in the European championships here in Baku. I'm sure they will show great result.
- What can you tell about international gymnastics judges courses, held in Baku?
- We held similar courses for the first time 10 years ago. Now there are much more participants. Usually these courses are attended by novices who wish to obtain international judicial category, or those who want to improve their judicial rank. Azerbaijan is represented by six specialists, and I'm sure they will successfully pass these courses and receive the judge title. I would like to note that we already have a judge of international category - Rza Aliyev, who has the highest category in the FIG.
- In February Baku will host another major tournament - Trampoline Gymnastics European Championships. How are you preparing for it?
- Baku has a modern gymnastics arena, so we are able to hold tournaments of international scale almost every day. We always try to bring some innovations for the audience, visitors of the competitions are always interested in them. I'm sure the second Trampoline Gymnastics European Championships will be spectacular and the audience will really enjoy it.