By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The third day of the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships being held in Baku on 18 September was marked by an interesting event, Azernews reported. The gymnastic ribbon of the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship Ambassador in Baku Yana Batyrshina was auctioned in the National Gymnastics Arena at 15:30.
The auction attracted the attention of about hundred people, among them adults and youngesters.
Batyrshina said that unlike other athletes, she herself painted her ribbon and spent about four hours on it. Despite being 22-years-old, the ribbon is in a working condition and is suitable for performing at various competitions. Batyrshina has achieved significant success in her career with the ribbon. During the European Championships in Patras, Greece, in 1997, Batyrshina celebrated her victory with this ribbon. In the same year, she won the Grand Prix in Deventer, Holland.
As for the auction itself, the starting price was set at symbolic 100 euros. However, the price was raised up to 2,000 euros. Batyrshina herself, wanting to buy the ribbon, made an offer in the amount of 2,200 euros. It seemed that no one else would bid higher, however the head coach of the Azerbaijani team in Rhythmic Gymnastics Mariana Vasileva announced the amount of 2,500 euros. Thus, the auction was declared valid. Money received from the auction will be sent to a charity fund.
The head of the Azerbaijani national team emphasized that the ribbon is priceless for its former owner and therefore she returns the ribbon to Batryshina. On this touching note, the auction was completed.
In addition to the ribbon, Batyrshina also brought with her a T-shirt with the image of the ribbon itself, which in turn was also put up for an auction. Declaring the amount of 100 AZN ($58), a young girl named Ayla acquired the T-shirt. Answering Batyrshina’s question about who she wants to become in the future, Ayla noted that she dreams of becoming an Olympic champion in Rhythmic Gymnastics and also a doctor.
Gymnast Yana Batyrshina also signed autographs at the end of the event.
The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships started on 16 September and will end on 22 September.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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