Excellent conditions have been created for the athletes in Azerbaijan - FIG official

All conditions have been created in Azerbaijan for holding the World Cup stages in artistic gymnastics qualifying for the Olympic Games, Morinari Watanabe, member of the Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), secretary general of the Japan Gymnastic Association, told Trend on February 20.

"This is my second visit to Baku,” he said. “Excellent conditions have been created for the athletes. I hope that Baku will be able to host the World Cup stages in artistic gymnastics qualifying for the Olympic Games. All conditions are available.”

Watanabe said gymnastics in Azerbaijan is at a high level.

"Artistic gymnastics is being rapidly developed in Azerbaijan,” he said. “As for rhythmic gymnastics, it is already at a very high level. Azerbaijan has a great potential in artistic gymnastics.”

“I think that Azerbaijani athletes will be able to qualify for the medals at the Olympic Games in 2020,” he said. “As for the Rio 2016 Olympics, it will be difficult to compete for the medals.”

Watanabe also commented on the new gymnastics element, demonstrated by Japanese gymnast Kenzo Shirai on February 19.

"I think that gymnasts must constantly use new elements in their performances," Watanabe said.

The FIG World Challenge Cup in Artistic Gymnastics kicked off in Baku February 19 and is to end February 21. As many as 45 male and 22 female gymnasts will compete for medals in apparatus finals of the World Challenge Cup.

In general, athletes from 19 countries are to participate in the event.

Men’s and women’s qualifications on the first two days of the competitions will be followed by apparatus finals on the last day.

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