The World Cup in Trampoline and Tumbling in Baku is an important initiative, Brazilian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Manuel Adalberto Carlos Montenegro Lopes da Cruz told reporters in Baku as part of the competitions, Trend reports Feb. 16.
“I see it is very well organized,” he said. “There is a lot of young talent here. All them them are young athletes. This a big effort. There is a small, but high-level team from Brazil. We have two winning gymnasts. We will be competing this afternoon. We have very high hopes for them.”
“I intend to work a lot on developing sports relations between Azerbaijan and Brazil,” he noted.
“I already saw the minister of sports,” he added. “We have an agreement with Azerbaijan on cooperation in sports and I am in contact with the Brazilian Football Confederation. They have told me that they would like to offer exhibition matches for Azerbaijani football teams against professional teams in the State of Parana. Parana is one of the 27 states we have. It is not as well known as San Paulo, Rio but it has a very good standard of living, very nice state and football is also very well organized there. We should start from there. We might work on football.”
“However, the more immediate goal is to help as much as we can to the practitioners of Capoeira [an Afro-Brazilian martial art],” he said. “You in Azerbaijan have a very strong federation of Capoeira, and there is a big interest. Hundreds of people, almost of all ages are interested in this [kind of sports]. I was very touched by this. We brought them a surprise gift. We will be with them shortly. A number of them would like to practice Portuguese. Some of them are learning Portuguese. We are going to have conversation classes with Capoeira practitioners, who are interested, and of course, from there on we will strongly collaborate in this area too.”
“I see from your tract record that Azerbaijan always hosts events at high level,” he noted. “That’s why high-level sporting competitions come to Azerbaijan. I look forward to other tournaments that you will have during the year.”
“Sports is an international language of understanding, brotherhood, sisterhood, it is something that we must promote in order to bring our people together,” he added. “People-to-people contacts are one of the areas that our governments agreed to work on. People-to-people contacts include sports. I hope I can help with that. You have an excellent ambassador to Brazil. He is also doing wonderful work. I think we will do a lot of good work.”
The first day of the World Cup in Trampoline and Tumbling started at the National Gymnastics Arena on Feb. 16 in Baku.
Men and women qualification competitions are taking place on the first day in the individual and synchronous trampolining programs along with the men's qualification competitions in tumbling.
The World Cup in Trampoline and Tumbling will last until Feb. 17 in Baku. Over 160 gymnasts from 30 countries are taking part in the championship.
Such athletes as Uladzislau Hancharou, Rosannagh MacLennan, Jason Burnett, Dong Dong, Gao Lei, Dmitry Ushakov and Bryony Page are competing in this World Cup.
Azerbaijan is represented by Veronika Zemlianaia in the individual program, Ruslan Aghamirov, Ilya Grishunin and Oleg Piunov in the individual and synchronized men's programs, and Mikhail Malkin in tumbling at the World Cup.
Six World Cups in Trampoline will be held in 2019 and 2020, with two of them being held in Baku.
Last year, Baku hosted the European Trampoline Championships, with the participation of 26 countries, with the World Cups organized in 2016 and 2017.
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