By Amina Nazarli
The National Gymnastics Arena will host the exciting 22nd Baku Championship in Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics on October 2-3.
Athletes from Baku Gymnastics School, Ocaq Republican Olympic Lyceum, as well as competitors from Sumgayit and Balakan regions, will take part in the men’s artistic gymnastics events.
Baku Gymnastics School, Ocaq Sports Club, and “Neftchi” will be represented at the competitions in women’s artistic gymnastics.
Within two days, spectators will see thrilling performances from national athletes including European Games five-time champion and parallel bars gold medalist Oleg Stepko, bronze medalist in team competition Petro Pakhnyuk, as well as participants from the 1st European Games in women’s artistic gymnastics -- Marina Nekrasova, Yuliya Inshina, and Mariya Smirnova.
This is the final tournament for senior gymnasts before the year’s major gymnastics event -- the World Championships in Glasgow, scheduled for October 23 until November 1. It gives a unique opportunity for spectators to watch brilliant performances by the athletes before this year’s major event.
Gymnastics is gaining popularity in Azerbaijan year by year. More often than before, parents want to see their children engaged in this beautiful and gentle sport, considering that the country has all the necessary conditions and facilities for its development.
Designed to host all gymnastics disciplines, the iconic 9,000-seat National Gymnastics Arena opened in 2014 and is now able train athletes for international tournaments.
A most exciting event, the 30th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships was held in the arena in 2014. The event received the highest score available by experts from the European Gymnastics Union. The World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships will again be held at the arena in 2019.
The Azerbaijani Gymnastics Federation achieved great successes in 2014. Overall, gymnasts won 114 medals, including 42 gold, 30 silver, and 42 bronze last year.
This September, national gymnast Marina Durunda earned a ticket to the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.