By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has summarized the work done in 2018.
The World Cup in three types of gymnastics was held in Baku. The first in the past year was the World Cup in gymnastics, where more than 100 gymnasts from 25 countries took part. In the World Cup in Rhythmic Gymnastics, held in the following months, 26 countries took part, and in the World Cup in Aerobic Gymnastics - seven countries.
In addition to the World Cups, the AGF Junior Trophy, the GymBala international rhythmic gymnastics tournaments, as well as the International Aerobic Gymnastics Championship of Azerbaijan were held at the National Gymnastics Arena.
The most memorable competition of last year was the European Championships in trampoline, double mini-trampoline and tumbling. More than 400 gymnasts from 25 countries took part in the event. Representatives of the Azerbaijani national team Veronika Zemlyanaya and Svetlana Makshtareva won the bronze medals in doubles competition, and Mikhail Malkin became the European champion.
Azerbaijani gymnasts were also able to get medals at the Continental Championships in rhythmic gymnastics, held in Guadalajara, Spain. Arzu Jalilova received
Bronze medals in the tournament were received by Arzu Jalilova and five gymnasts in the group exercises - Aliya Pashayeva, Siyana Vasileva, Zeynab Gummatova, Diana Ahmadbayli and Ayshan Bayramova.
Along with these tournaments, the National Gymnastics Arena also hosted the qualification of pre-junior gymnastics for the Olympic Games. Azerbaijani gymnast Elizaveta Luzan won a gold medal at the Olympic Games among pre-juniors, which took place in October in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Three judges of the Azerbaijani national team also participated in this competition - Nigar Abdullayeva (in rhythmic gymnastics), Rza Aliyev (in men's gymnastics), Kamil Guliyev (in trampoline).
Azerbaijani gymnasts in 2018 also performed at the first European Gym for Life Challenge competition and were able to grab gold medals.
For the first time, the Azerbaijani TeamGym took part in the 12th European Championship, which was held in Odivelas, Portugal. The International Gymnastics Federation presented special cups to athletes representing Azerbaijan in group exercises with three balls and two jump ropes as well as Mikhail Malkin, according to the final points of all World Cups in trampoline gymnastics and tumbling held during the last two years.
Baku hosted the coaching courses of the Academy of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for Azerbaijani coaches in rhythmic gymnastics, men's gymnastics and aerobic gymnastics.
In early December, a FIG Congress was held in Baku. About 300 representatives from more than 115 countries of the world took part in the work of the Congress, which, according to the FIG Charter, is the highest body of this structure.
During the Congress, changes were made to the charter of FIG to include parkour in the list of sports supervised by the International Gymnastics Federation. The agenda of the Congress raised the issue of ensuring the safety of all persons related to sports discipline - gymnastics, the creation of an "Ethics Fund", which includes sections of control over compliance with ethical principles, and also considered a number of other issues.
Also, Baku hosted meetings of the European Union Gymnastics Technical Committee for trampolining, a meeting of the Presidential Council of the European Gymnastics Union and a general meeting of the African Gymnastics Union.
Following the results of 2017, the activity of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation was highly appreciated by the International Gymnastics Federation, while the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation was included in the list of federations awarded for active work and took the first place in the rating.
The Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has also been honored by the National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan for organizing and holding high-level sporting events.
The head coach of the Azerbaijani national rhythmic gymnastics team, Marianna Vasileva, was chosen as "Trainer, committed to fair game principles". European champion Mikhail Malkin was also honored as one of 10 winning athletes in the nomination "The best athlete of the year", and Azerbaijani gymnast Elizaveta Luzan for a worthy representation of the country at the 3rd Summer Olympics.
The Gymnastics Federation of Azerbaijan in 2018 received representatives from 111 countries.
In general, more than 2,000 foreign representatives visited Baku to attend events on various types of gymnastics.
The number of volunteers at international gymnastics competitions also reached a record high.
As many as 173 representatives from 17 countries of the world in 2018 chose the National Gymnastics Arena to conduct training camps.
Last year, the National Gymnastics Arena welcomed over 15,000 spectators.
Azerbaijani national team earned 26 gold, 15 silver and 44 bronze medals in 2018.
In its activity, AGF follows the principles, objectives and goals of the Olympic Movement, operates in close cooperation with the National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan.
AGF collaborates with the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan and sports organizations on issues of the population’s large-scale involvement in physical training and healthy lifestyle, personnel training, national teams’ formation and their participation in the international tournaments and training camps. Within the framework of its authority, AGF also develops and strengthens international relations with sports organizations of foreign countries.
Currently, AGF comprises 7 gymnastics disciplines recognized by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG):
Rhythmic Gymnastics (Olympic discipline)
Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (Olympic discipline)
Women’s Artistic Gymnastics (Olympic discipline)
Acrobatic Gymnastics (non-Olympic discipline)
Aerobic Gymnastics (non-Olympic discipline)
Gymnastics for All (non-competitive discipline)
Trampoline Gymnastics (individual performance on Trampoline is Olympic discipline)
In 2019, Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation will hold a series of large-scale events in various gymnastic disciplines.
The Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships will be held on February 16-17. A month later, on March 14-17, the Gymnastics World Cup will be held for the fourth time in the country. April and May months will be marked by rhythmic gymnastics performances.
The Artistic Gymnastics World Cup will be held April 26-28. A week later, the European Artistic Gymnastics Championship will be held in Baku on May 16-19.
In 2019, the Federation will hold the first European Championships in two types of gymnastics. Following the rhythmic gymnastics competition on May 24-26, the most powerful aerobic gymnastics athletes will gather in the capital.
On July 20-28, the European Youth Olympic Festival will be held for the first time in Baku.
National Gymnastics Arena will host sporting events as part of the festival.
Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF), which was founded in 1956, 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 specialized in all six competitive gymnastics disciplines and 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, all the sports fans from different countries of the world with its uniqueness.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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