First athlete quota places for Baku 2015 European Games confirmed
The first quota places for the European Games in Baku 2015 have been confirmed to their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs).
Following the European Aerobic Championships in France (4 - 10 November 2013) and the European Trampoline Championships in Portugal (7 - 13 April 2014), 120 aerobics and trampoline quota places for the Baku European Games have been allocated to a total of 22 NOCs.
The landmark moment means the first athletes to compete at the first ever European Games will soon be offered competition places by their NOCs.
The Georgian NOC, a close neighbour of Azerbaijan, was the first NOC to confirm their acceptance of the quota places. Azerbaijan, as the host NOC, will be able to compete with a maximum of four trampoline and six aerobic athletes.
Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC), said: "Today marks an important milestone in our journey to deliver the inaugural European Games in Baku with the allocation of the first quota places to the NOCs.
"Over the coming months, further announcements and athlete selections will help build the excitement and anticipation of the event both here in Azerbaijan and across the whole of Europe.
"Athletes will be at the heart of our Games and we congratulate those who have achieved quota places for their country. Those selected can be assured of a generous and warm welcome in Baku next summer."
The striking National Gymnastics Arena has been recently officially opened by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva. The arena is situated close to the Baku 2015 Athletes Village.
The 6,800 capacity venue will be one of the first venues to host a test event, when the 30th European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships are held there in June.
James Macleod, Director of Athlete Services and Operations, said: "We have been in contact with a total of 22 National Olympic Committees from across Europe to inform them of their number of allocated quota places.
"This marks more progress in the countdown to the European Games and it will allow NOCs across Europe to begin planning their team's participation in the Games."
The three traditional disciplines of artistic, rhythmic and trampoline - as well as two new non-Olympic disciplines of aerobic and acrobatic - will feature at Baku 2015.
Gymnastics competition will be held over six days, with a combined total of 446 male and female gymnasts representing their countries in individual, group and mixed events.
There will be a total of 34 medal events across the five disciplines, the second highest number of medal opportunities in any sport after aquatics.
In total, more than 6,000 athletes are expected to compete at the Baku 2015 European Games in 19 sports.