By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan is one of the most attractive places to share sporting values in a range of disciplines. The country is home to a number of major international gymnastics championships.
Over the past years, National Gymnastics Arena has turned into one of the main gymnastics venues. Now the Arena prepares to host another gymnastic competition.
Less than 100 days remain until the grand sporting event - the 37th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships to be held in Baku on September 16-22, Trend Life reported.
After 14 years, the City of Winds will once again bring together the strongest gymnasts at the Championships.
In a video footage, world-famous athletes welcomed the City of Winds in the Azerbaijani language and invited everyone to the 37th FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships.
During the competition, female gymnasts will perform for 7 days both in the individual program and in group exercises in teams that will compete in individual apparatuses and in all-around events.
It is noteworthy that these World Championships are qualifying competitions for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The competition will determine not only the medalists, but also the names of new candidates for the Olympics.
Only top 16 female gymnasts performing in the individual all-around program will receive a license for the Olympics in Tokyo (2 gymnasts from each country). As for the teams in the group exercises, Bulgaria, Russia and Italy already secured a license at the end of last year’s World Championships.
Top 5 teams in the group exercises will get a chance to perform in Tokyo based on the points scored in all-round event at this year’s championships.
Gymnastics is the sport that is paid an increased attention in Azerbaijan. Founded in 1956, Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) has experienced revival since 2002, and the renewed federation lifted this popular sport to a new level. Currently, AGF comprises seven gymnastics disciplines recognized by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG).
The National Gymnastics Arena, which specializes in all six competitive gymnastics disciplines and which has hosted all large-scale competitions held in Baku from the day of its opening in 2014, is in the spotlight of not only the gymnasts, willingly joining the training camp, but also of all the sports fans from different countries of the world with its uniqueness.
The high level organization of the gymnastics events did not remain unnoticed. International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) included the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) into the list of the meritorious federations. Thus, the AGF has managed to be in the spotlight with its exemplary activity.
The AGF succeeded to be included into the FIG ranking of the best 10 federations in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and ranked first in 2017.
Organization of major international gymnastics competitions in Azerbaijan plays a big role in the development of sports in the country and also has a positive impact on the development of sports tourism.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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