Marni Sterner: Azerbaijan has the best conditions for gymnastics in the world
Azerbaijan created the best conditions for development of gymnastics in the world, New Zealand judge of the international level Marni Sterner said today in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
"I think the conditions here are the best in the world - that's why we constantly come here, because we don't have such conditions in our country. Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) has great coaching staff, they have considerable experience in both artistry and technique. Azerbaijani girls are constantly improving their skills, today I saw a lot of talented young athletes," she said.
She added that New Zealand is very interested in today's tournament. "Open Azerbaijan Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship is very interesting for us, so I brought two gymnasts here. After that they will participate in other competitions, one of them at the World Cup and the other will go to Hungary. We really like gymnastic competitions in Baku - there's a hospitable atmosphere here. We have already visited Baku five times, and we would love to return here," she noted.
She also compared the prospects for development of gymnastics in Azerbaijan and New Zealand. "Azerbaijan has wonderful, very talented girls, and I think that the republic has a great future in rhythmic gymnastics. Overall, the level of development of gymnastics in Azerbaijan is much higher than in New Zealand. The government does not support us at all, so parents of gymnasts have to pay for everything themselves - that's why we have to limit the number of tournaments and competitions in which we participate," she concluded.
The 24th Open Azerbaijan Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship opened at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku today. Twenty-five gymnasts in the junior and senior age categories compete for medals in performances with hoop, ball, ribbon and clubs.