Baku opens season of World Artistic Gymnastics
The FIG Challenge World Cup in gymnastics is to take place in Baku soon. The competitions are to take place in Azerbaijan for the first time.
The competitions will be held from the 19th to the 21st of February at the National Gymnastics Arena (Milli Gimnastika Arenası), where competitions in gymnastics in six types of exercises took place during the First European Games. 46 men and 22 women will compete for medals in the finals of the individual apparatus. 146 athletes from 19 countries will participate in the competition, Trend reports.
The Vice-President of the European Gymnastics Union, the Secretary General of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Farid Gaibov said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza that the decision to hold the World Cup in Azerbaijan was taken by the Federation after the First European Games, where gymnast Oleg Stepko became a five-time medallist and the only Azerbaijani athlete to receive five awards at these Games, and another medal was won by the Azerbaijani team in the team competition.
"Thus, this kind of sport became increasingly popular in our country. And the leadership of the Federation decided to host the World Cup. Thus, the competitions, which are to start on February 19th, will be the first Cup in Azerbaijan in this kind of sport. We have only organized competitions in rhythmic gymnastics. In addition, the World Cup will open the season, and the first will be held in Azerbaijan,'' he said.
The representative of the Gymnastics Federation of Azerbaijan, Shahin Kyazimzade, stressed that the Federation Cup in Gymnastics of the FIG Challenge World Series will be the first tournament on the international scale.
"Although in the past year also took gymnastics tournament took place in the context of the First European Games, but it was a multi-competition – gymnastics, artistic, acrobatics and trampoline. But in this case the first individual gymnastics tournament will be organized. It is notable for the fact that it is the first in the calendar of the International Gymnastics Federation for the year," Kyazimzade said.
"Today I received an updated list of countries that are to participate in the competition. They are the athlete from Germany, the Olympic champion Marcel Nguyen, and his presence is a great honor for us, because his coach is Valery Belenky, our compatriot and Olympic champion in 1992. A bronze medalist of the European Championship, the very famous gymnast Alexander Shatilov from Israel will also arrive in Baku. The Japanese team will also participate in the competitions. Its participation is also a great honor for us, because the Japanese gymnasts are the strongest in the world. Their best representative is Kohei Uchimura, the Olympic champion and six-time absolute world champion. Athletes from Ukraine, Turkey, Spain, Croatia and Brazil will also participate in the competitions," the representative of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation said.