Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has today received Azerbaijani athletes and experts who participated in the Singapore Youth Olympic Games, AzerTaj state news agency said.
The President congratulated the athletes on "historic triumph" in the Olympics, saying Azerbaijan was among the world's leading sports countries. The President said Azerbaijan's achievements were the result of continuous and radical reforms in the sports sector.
The President said "the fact Azerbaijan's anthem was performed 5 times and the national flag was raised 8 times during the Olympics is a source of big pride". President Aliyev said the Azerbaijani athletes "made history" in Singapore.
The President expressed confidence they would repeat the success in forthcoming London Olympic Games.
President Aliyev vowed the government would continue placing a particular emphasis to developing sports, adding everyone who contributed to Azerbaijan's success in Singapore would be awarded.
Weightlifter Nijat Rahimov, who won gold medal in the Singapore Olympics, said the President's receiving the athletes proved he pinned big hopes in them.
He said foundations of a strategy to develop sports in Azerbaijan were laid by national leader Heydar Aliyev, adding the sports sector was developing today at a very rapid pace thanks to President Ilham Aliyev's support. Rahimov thanked the President on behalf of the athletes, vowing they "will spare no efforts to repeat our successes".
Ilgar Abdulov, a Greco-Roman wrestling coach, said the Azerbaijani athletes were capable of making "big successes" in the London Olympics. He praised President Ilham Aliyev's support to sports and sportsmen in the country.
The President emphasized the fact "there are athletes from regions among winners and prizewinners of the Singapore Olympics".
The President said it was the result of continuous attention and support to developing sports in regions.
"About 30 Olympic complexes have been built across the country since 2000, with the construction of 10 such facilities underway."
The President said developing sports had been among the key government priorities.
Following the meeting the President posed for photographs together with the athletes.