Baku, Azerbaijan, July 11
The main event of June certainly was the European Games held in Minsk (BLR), President of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) Farid Gayibov said, Trend reports.
He noted that the city embraced a magnificent atmosphere, unique to multi-sports events.
“Like the 1st European Games, we were lucky this time as well. We succeeded to agree with the European Olympic Committees (EOC) on the inclusion of 6 gymnastics disciplines - both Olympic and non-Olympic ones - into the Games programme. It’s a unique opportunity that unites the whole European gymnastics family once every four years. We also continued the alternation of Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines. The events in Rhythmic and Acrobatic Gymnastics ran at the same time, while the gymnasts in Trampoline and Aerobic Gymnastics also shared the Field of Play. And the spectators with a thrill watched the routines of representatives in 2 Olympic disciplines: Men’s & Women’s Artistic gymnastics,” said UEG president.
He pointed out that between 8000 and 12000 tickets were sold for every competition day. “We were happy to see such popularity of Gymnastics in Belarus.”
The competitions in Acrobatic Gymnastics especially attracted the attention of the spectators with beautiful performances, noted Gayibov.
“Many people from different National Olympic Committees, as well as representatives of other sports disciplines, which attended gymnastics events, spoke favorably of Acrobatics. They think that this discipline should be an Olympic one. We already achieved that Acrobatic Gymnastics is a part of the European Games and it was represented at the last year’s Youth Olympic Games. I hope, with our joint efforts, we will bring this discipline to the Olympic movement soon,” he said.
UEG president noted that at the stage of preparation, it was a great pleasure to cooperate with the EOC with at its head President, Mr. Janez Kocijančič.
“We were honoured to welcome the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Mr. Thomas Bach at gymnastics. The President of the Russian Federation Mr. Vladimir Putin also attended our competition. All this shows that Gymnastics is one of the favourite and significant sports disciplines. I would like to express my gratitude to the Technical Committees of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG). They succeeded to realise this new format. In some gymnastics disciplines there were no qualifying competitions and only the finals were held. The best athletes qualified through the European / World Championships depending on the discipline and the number of participating athletes was restricted which was not so usual for UEG events. Thus, it was some kind of a challenge for our Technical Committees to make changes in order to adjust to the new competition format. But they overcame all the difficulties and we witnessed very interesting competitions.
Our UEG office worked hard before and during the events. There are not so many people working at our office, but an incredible amount of work was carried out and I am very grateful to them for their commitment,” he said.
Gayibov congratulated the Organising Committee of the Games with splendid organisation of the events.
“The role of volunteers should especially be emphasised. A great number of volunteers were involved in organisation. They were very friendly and always ready to help with a smile on their face. It was a splendid sports festival which will be remembered for a long time. Within the framework of the Games, we also held the meetings of the UEG President’s Board and Executive Committee on June 28 & 29. We discussed outstanding issues and took some decisions concerning the participation of athletes in the next year’s Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and approved the changes to the European Gym for Life Challenge and the Golden Age Gym Festival regulations. We also allocated the Acrobatic Gymnastics European Age Group Competitions and European Championships, as well as the Aerobic Gymnastics European Championships to Pesaro (ITA) in 2021,” noted UEG president.
He went on to add that this month was also very remarkable for the junior artistic gymnasts who participated in the inaugural Junior World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics held in Gyor (HUN).
“The results showed that Europe also has skilled junior gymnasts who constituted a strong rivalry to the representatives of other continents. Our gymnasts won almost 50 % of medals (20 from 42 medals) assigned both for Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics in total. I am pleased that we have a growing generation of promising gymnasts to represent our continent as they are the future of European gymnastics,” Gayibov concluded.