FIG: AGF system is envy of many in world of gymnastics (Exclusive)

FIG: AGF system is envy of many in world of gymnastics (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 29

By Gulgiz Muradova – Trend:

The Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has a system, which is the envy of many in the world of gymnastics, President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Morinari Watanabe said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

Watanabe highly assessed the activity and infrastructure of the AGF, which has marked its 15th anniversary this year.

"They have an arena, training facilities, accommodation for athletes and coaching staff; everything, in short, dedicated to gymnastics. They benefit also from strong support from the state. As their environment is excellent to that degree, we even feel that FIG does not need to support the AGF," he said.

The FIG president further noted that the AGF has once again been listed among the most meritorious federations in 2017.

"As for the most active federations in 2017, they are Azerbaijan and Portugal," Watanabe said.

Due to its dynamic and professional activity, the AGF has placed itself among the 10 most meritorious federations for the three consecutive years - 2014, 2015 and 2016.

With regards to the main agenda of the 2018 FIG Congress to be held in Baku, he said that the Congress will decide the basic principle for the cycle of 2021-2024.

In 2018, Baku will once again be a venue for a series of top gymnastics events. To name a few, Baku will host next year the World Cup series along with the qualifications for the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Buenos Aires.

"The facilities in Baku are excellent and the organization is flawless. We appreciate their wonderful hospitality also," Watanabe said commenting on the key factors of Baku's hosting the top gymnastics events.

The Baku-based National Gymnastics Arena is one of only a handful of bespoke gymnastics venues in the world and is designed to host all gymnastic disciplines as well as having the flexibility to host other sports events. Retractable and movable seating tiers vary the capacity, with a maximum capacity of 9,000 possible. The Arena also features a training hall for the national Azerbaijan gymnastics team, which can be integrated into the main Arena space, as well as accommodation facilities, physiotherapy and medical suites.

The AGF, which was founded in 1956, has experienced revival since 2002 and the renewed federation lifted this popular sport to a new level. Currently, AGF comprises 7 gymnastics disciplines recognized by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG).

The FIG is the governing body for Gymnastics worldwide. It is the oldest established international federation of an Olympic sport and has participated in the Olympic Games since their revival in 1896.

The FIG governs eight sports: Gymnastics for All, Men's and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Trampoline - including Double Mini-trampoline and Tumbling -, Aerobics, Acrobatics, and Parkour. It counts 148 national member federations and has its headquarters in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne (SUI).

Follow the author on Twitter:@GulgizD

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