AGF Sec. Gen. Farid Gayibov elected as UEG President (PHOTO) (UPDATE)

Details added (first version posted on 12:33)

Split, Croatia, Dec.2

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Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Secretary General Farid Gayibov was elected as the President of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG).

The 50 member Federations of the UEG elected the new UEG authorities at the 27th Congress in Split, Croatia Dec.2.

Gayibov gained 28 votes, leaving behind Edvard Kolar, President of the Management Board of the Slovenian Sports Lottery, who received 20 votes. Gayibov will replace Georges Guelzec (FRA), who led the UEG since 2009.

Addressing the congress before the election procedure, Gayibov said that he has been working in the field of gymnastics for 15 years.

“I was executive director of many large-scale competitions, such as World Cups, European championships, different international courses. I also took an active part in origination of world championships, European Games and Islamic Solidarity Games held in our country,” he said.

Gayibov noted that this year AGF was included into the FIG [International Gymnastics Federation] list of meritorious federations for three consecutive years.

“The FIG also awarded me with two medals of bronze distinction and recognition medals,” he said.

“You elected me to the FIG Council and as the UEG vice president. As UEG vice president, I was responsible for marketing, and during this time the financial situation of the UEG has improved,” continued Gayibov. “Many federations benefited from this agreement. I have some plans how we can attract more partners in the future.”

“This year our partners from SmartScoring company did free scoring at rhythmic artistic, aerobic and acrobatic European championships. We received positive feedback for all of them. It means that we are improving after each held championship. They also for the first time realized a Live TV project in acrobatic and aerobic European championships and for the first time, people could watch live streaming in slow motion, live results via TV. They could see program of competitions, as well as ranking, all from one source,” he said.

Gayibov said this led to thousands of people watching competitions online.

AGF Secretary General also promised to do his utmost for the development of gymnastics in Europe.

“I will do my best. I think that I have enough experience to lead the UEG, but I cannot do it alone, it is not possible. That is why I need your help. I need your support. If the success comes, I'll work for Europe's benefit. Believe me, it does not matter where I am from, and what is my religion,” he added.

Speaking about the problems in the gymnastics sphere, Gayibov said that the main problem of small countries is the budget.

“But how can we help them? They don't have money to send a gymnast to international competitions. They don't have money to buy apparatus or to invite international coaches. I think that we should create special commission which will deal with these problems,” noted the AGF secretary general.

“Maybe we should also create another commission, where there will be representatives of big, strong gymnastics countries. It is possible. We know our problems, for which we may and will find the ways to solve,” added Gayibov.

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