Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend Z.Safarov / The grand opening ceremony of the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship was held at the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Concert Complex in Baku on 29 June.
In her welcoming remarks, Mehriban Aliyeva, the President of the National Gymnastics Federation, stressed that over the past few years the organization of top-level tournaments has become a pleasant tradition in Baku. "Now Azerbaijan is accepted as the sports power throughout the world. Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, who did much for the development of sports in the country, has provided a great service in this respect."
Aliyeva also reminded that the World Gymnastics Championship held in Baku in 2005 was the first Mundial in Azerbaijani history of this type of Olympic sport. "The European Championship is traditionally one of the major sports events of the year with the participation of strong gymnasts awaiting good, tough competition," the President of the Federation stated.
At the same time, the head of the European Union of Gymnastics, Dimitris Dimetropulos, voiced his hope that Baku would justify the confidence instilled in it, and host a tournament of excellent standards. Euro 2007 is the last testing stage for qualification, on the eve of the World Championship due in Patras. This is its major peculiarity," he noted.