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Baku 2015 to receive impressive French team

17 April 2015 15:36 (UTC+04:00)
Baku 2015 to receive impressive French team

By Nigar Orujova

The French team of the inaugural Baku 2015 European Games will consist of 259 athletes, French Ambassador to Azerbaijan Pascal Monnier said.

“The quite representative French team of 259 athletes (136 men and 123 women) will take part in the European Games, joined by some 135 technical staff,” he told Trend on April 17.

We expect between 500-600 French people if we include family members, he said.

“The French team will take part in all disciplines except Basketball 3X3, Athletics and Beach Soccer. The French judoka team has already been announced and is very eager to participate in the Games. The participation of our judoka champion, the famous Teddy Riner, has been confirmed,” the diplomat stressed.

Monnier said that he has recently been to Mingachevir to look at the place where the canoe-kayak competition will take place.

“The French team will be strong,” he said. “I have been impressed by what has been done to host this competition. I also visited some factories, the huge hydro power station, the youth house, the Heydar Aliyev center and the college of tourism. I was happy to meet three French language teachers there.”

The first European Games will make the country better known and could attract new tourists in the future, Monnier believes.

Azerbaijan’s preparation for the European Games has been amazingly fast, he said.

“All venues are impressive,” the diplomat said. “The Olympic village can host 9,000 athletes. The opening and the closing ceremony will take place in a 66,000 seated arena.”

The communication campaign carried out by the Baku European Games Operation Committee will contribute to the attraction of all sport lovers from many parts of the world, the diplomat added.

The Games should be an important moment in the life of the city, he noted.

Monnier went on to add that many foreign athletes would participate alongside the Azerbaijani sport team.

“I guess the Games will offer to all of us a good opportunity to meet different people from different horizons, to share sport values: resilience and fair play and to participate in a joyful event and to enjoy the Azerbaijani art of hospitality,” he said.

Monnier went on to add, that many foreign journalists are also expected. “The figure of 1,200 people has been mentioned. That shows the interest gained by these first European Games.”

Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku is finalizing all preparations to the grandiose event. The Games will see 6,000 athletes from 50 countries to compete in 20 sports, 16 of which are Olympic.

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Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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