Without the support of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice President Mehriban Aliyeva, the country's achievements in gymnastics would be impossible, Mariana Vasileva, the head coach of the Azerbaijani national rhythmic gymnastics team, told Trend.
"After Mehriban Aliyeva was elected president of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, this sport began to develop very actively in the country. What followed was not only the construction of the National Gymnastics Arena – a large sports complex – but also the creation of conditions for training in clubs; along with that, 17 rhythmic gymnastics sections were opened in the regions of the country," said Vasileva.
As Vasileva noted, foreign guests coming to competitions in Azerbaijan always remain satisfied with the conditions created in the National Gymnastics Arena.
"The Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) does a lot for the development of gymnastics in the world. The very fact that a large number of sporting events and competitions are being organized by us helps the development of gymnastics not only in Azerbaijan, but also around the globe. AGF always tries to receive guests very well, the conditions we have are wonderful - the best in the world, and I am saying this proudly. The development and popularization of gymnastics in Azerbaijan are taken very seriously. Our guests see it, and, of course, they talk about it. It's nice to hear from them that, as always, everything is carried out at a high level and that it cannot be any other way here," she added.
Speaking about the upcoming AGF 2nd Junior Trophy in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Baku, Vasileva noted that the Azerbaijani athletes participating in the competition are well prepared.
"The junior team will be represented in group exercises by 5 gymnasts - these are Madina Asadova, Laman Alimuradova, Seljan Hajizada, Milana Akbarova and Farida Safiyarzada. They have already passed 2 starts – competitions in Israel last November and competitions in Poland 2 weeks ago. The team came first at both of these international tournaments. They will face their main competitors at the AGF Junior Trophy international tournament, and we will see how our team performs against the rest. I think they will make us happy," Vasileva said.
"Narmina Samadova, Narmin Bayramova and Arzu Jalilova participate in the individual program. These 3 girls are preparing for the Rhythmic Gymnastics Junior World Championships in Moscow, which will be held in July. The junior team will also perform at the Championship in group exercises. I think that our team will succeed at the AGF Junior Trophy tournament, but sport is sport, and results can never be guaranteed here. I hope we will perform without mistakes and get to the finals, and then we will fight for the top places," Vasileva said.
The AGF 2nd Junior Trophy in Rhythmic Gymnastics will be held in Baku on April 20-21 in the National Gymnastics Arena. About 130 juniors from 20 countries will take part in the tournament.
Participants will compete in an individual program and in group exercises. During the two-day competition, winners will be determined in all-around and in specific types of exercises.
Azerbaijan will be represented at this tournament by Narmina Samadova, Narmin Bayramova and 2018 European Championships` bronze medalist Arzu Jalilova in the individual program, as well as Madina Asadova, Laman Alimuradova, Seljan Hajizada, Milana Akbarova and Farida Safiyarzada in group exercises.
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