By Laman Ismayilova
Olga Barkalava, a Belarusian expert, has been appointed as the new Head Coach of the Women's Artistic Gymnastics National Team.
Barkalava has been coaching in Women's Artistic Gymnastics for almost twenty two years. She was senior coach of the Belarusian National Team for the last 6 years.
After the appointment, Barkalava shared her impressions in the interview given to the press service of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.
The coach praised the conditions created for the training of gymnasts.
"I am very grateful for the trust shown to me and I will do my best to ensure that Azerbaijani women’s artistic gymnasts will have a competitive edge at the European and World arenas," she added.
Founded in 1956, AGF comprises seven gymnastics disciplines recognized by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG).
The federation has experienced a revival since 2002. The renewed federation has brought gymnastics to a completely new level.
The high-level organization of the gymnastics events did not remain unnoticed. The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) included the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) into the list of the meritorious federations.
For many years, the AGF has been included into the FIG list of the Top 10 gymnastics federations.
From 2014 to 2019, the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation was included in the list of the FIG 10 strongest federations and for the last three years it has led the list.
In 2020, AGF managed to host 3 competitions at the beginning of the year.
First, the trampoline gymnasts visited Baku to participate in the World Cup qualifiers for the Olympic Games. Afterwards, the young men's gymnasts competed for the AGF Junior Trophy. Moreover, Azerbaijani gymnasts managed to win 2 silver and 1 bronze medal during the competition.
Another licensed competition for the Olympics - the World Cup in gymnastics was also organized in the country.
The most successful event for the national gymnasts in 2020 was the participation in the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Ukraine.
The gymnastic team consisting of Zeynab Hummatova, Darya Sorokina, Maryam Safarova, Laman Alimuradova and Elizabeth Luzan, won a silver medal in all-around. This medal is the first medal in the history of Azerbaijan's rhythmic gymnastics won by the national team in group all-around competition.
National team also won bronze medals in the competition with 3 hoops and 2 pairs of clubs.
The next medal was won by the team as well. Narmin Bayramova, Alina Gozalova, Ilona Zeynalova, Leyli Agazade, they grabbed bronze medal in this program according to the total number of the joint points.
In addition, a joint virtual competition in rhythmic gymnastics was also organized for gymnasts from Azerbaijan and Israel.
The competition, called "Battle", was attended by teams from both countries licensed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
AGF also focuses on improving the skills of coaches and referees. Thus, the gymnastics courses were organized for local judges and coaches last year.
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