By Nazrin Gadimova
The European Powerlifting Championships was held in Baku on June 12-15.
The event was co-organized by Azerbaijan's Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Olympic Committee, World Powerlifting Congress, Baku City Youth and Sports Department and Azerbaijani Powerlifting Federation.
It brought together nearly 300 athletes from 27 countries.
Addressing the opening ceremony, President of Azerbaijan's Powerlifting Federation Aladdin Aliyev read out a congratulatory letter of the honorable President of the Federation Sevil Aliyeva.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Ismayil Ismayilov, in turn, spoke of Azerbaijani government's attention to the development of sports in the country. He said Baku became one of the sports centers of the world due to care and attention of the Head of State and President of the Azerbaijan National Olympic Committee Ilham Aliyev.
Speaking at the event, President of the World Powerlifting Congress Mike Sweeney thanked Azerbaijan for excellent organization of the tournament.
A press conference was held prior to the opening ceremony of the championships.
"There are all necessary conditions in Azerbaijan to hold World Powerlifting Championship," Sweeney said, addressing the press conference.
Aladdin Aliyev, in turn, noted that it is possible to hold such events even in the regions of Azerbaijan, adding several modern sports complexes have been built there.
Over 50 Azerbaijani athletes vied for the medals. The gold medals came for Elnara Guliyeva, Gunel Talibova, Sara Abbasova, Kamran Badalov, Elmir Tarverdiyev, Farid Gurbanov, Zerdush Hasratov, Sarkhan Gasimli, Orkhan Ahmadzade and Vusal Aliyev.
Powerlifting, a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift, involves lifting weights in three attempts.
Competitions in these kinds of sports take place across the world but mostly in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Iceland, Egypt, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Ukraine. Powerlifting has been a Paralympic sport (bench press only) since 1984 and, under the IPF, is also a World Games sport. Local, national and international competitions have also been sanctioned by other federations operating independently of the IPF.