By Laman Ismayilova
The Aerobic Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions was held in Baku for the first time, bringing together 12-14 and 15-17 years old gymnasts.
The large-scale event featured individual women, individual men, mixed pairs, trios, and groups qualifications and finals.
Gymnasts of both age groups performd in the Qualifications and Finals in the programs of “Individual Women”, "Individual Men", "Mixed Pairs", "Trios", and "Groups". The 15-17-year-old gymnasts were involved in "Aero Dance" program.
Azerbaijan was represented at the competition by Leyla Abdullazade, Arzu Aghayeva, Leyla Ahmadova, Sara Alikhanli, Aylin Aliyeva, Rovshana Baghirzade, Leyla Bezhanova, Dilara Gurbanova, Fidan Ibrahimova, Aliya Ismayilova, Sanam Kazimova, Evelina Kozlovskaya, Emiliya Mahmudova and Maryam Topchubashova.
The competitions was held in accordance with the COVID-19 quarantine measures and without spectators.
Maryam Topchubashova reached the final of the Aerobic Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions in the individual program in Baku. The gymnast scored 18.400 points on the second day of the competitions.
Azerbaijani team consisting of Leyla Abdullazadeh, Arzu Aghayeva, Rovshana Baghirzadeh, Leyla Bezhanova and Emilia Mahmudova didn’t reach the final, taking 10th position. The gymnasts scored 16.200 points.
The highest step of the podium was taken by the Russian team, the second place went to Hungary while Romania ranked third.
The closing ceremony of the World Aerobic Gymnastics Competition featured a parade of flags of the countries that took part in the competition.
A member of the Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Ali Al-Hitmi addressed the event.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are attending the closing ceremony of the 9th World Age Group Aerobic Gymnastics Competition organized at a high level in a country that pays great attention to all sports, including gymnastics. On behalf of the International Gymnastics Federation and all participants, I express gratitude for the excellent work done to the local organizing committee, the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, volunteers and everyone who worked at the event.Congratulations to the winners and wish everyone success in the upcoming events. I also want to thank the technical committee and the judges of the World Age Group Aerobic Gymnastics Competition," he said.
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 in the FIG list of the Top 10 gymnastics federations.
From 2014 to 2019, the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation was included in the list of 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 all-around. This medal is the first medal in the history of Azerbaijan's rhythmic gymnastics won by the national team in a group all-around competition.
The 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 grabbed bronze 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.
Azerbaijani gymnasts have taken part in the 1st Trampoline Hopes Cup 2021.
National team was represented at the virtual tournament by Ammar Bakhshaliyev (11–12 years age group), Magsud Makhsudov and Huseyn Abbasov (13–14 years age group), as well as Seljan Makhsudova (adult age group).
Moreover, Azerbaijani gymnasts won a full set of awards at the 1st Trampoline Hopes Cup 2021 earlier in April, 2021.
Ammar Bakhshaliyev took first place among athletes aged 11-12, and Magsud Makhsudov and Huseyn Abbasov took first and second places, respectively, in the age category of 13-14 years.Seljan Makhsudova took third among adult gymnasts.
National gymnasts also took part in the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Uzbekistan.
National team included Arzu Jalilova and Narmina Samedova. According to the results of the all-around, Narmina Samedova took 33rd place, while Arzu Jalilova ranked 37th.
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