13 February 2016
“The FIG World Challenge Cup in Artistic Gymnastics in Baku to be run at the highest level,” Israeli gymnast Alexander Shatilov told Trend News Agency in his interview.
“It is very pleasant to visit Azerbaijan again, where I have already been to several times, including the Baku 2015 First European Games. Azerbaijan hosts the FIG World Challenge Cup in Artistic Gymnastics for the first time and I think that this is quite important event for the country. I am confident that the competitions will be held at the highest level,” he said.
Shatilov noted that Milli Gimnastika Arenası was built at a very high level and there was a very good atmosphere both in the warm-up hall and on the field of play. “Everything was practically arranged, passages from the warm-up hall to the field of play were very comfortable and short. This means, you can warm-up and go to the field of play in no time. Once again, I would like to mention that the organization of the First European Games was at the highest level and I hope that the World Cup to be held in the same spirit,” he said.
The athlete stated that he does not have a task to win at any cost. His main objective is to try out new combinations. “This is my first event after the World Championships in Glasgow which was not very successful for me. Therefore, we have made certain conclusions. For me, these competitions are a preparation for the test events to qualify for the Olympic Games, as well as the Games itself. If everything goes according to the plan, then, there is a good chance to mount the podium and it would be a good bonus to the experience I am going to gain here,” Shatilov said.
The gymnast also emphasized, that, although, a significance of the World Cup is less than the European Games, where he participated in, it will not be so easy to achieve positive results due to the participation of Asian gymnasts in the events.
According to him, the Azerbaijani gymnasts will be one of his main rivals in the contest for the medals.
“As for the level of athletes, there are several very serious gymnasts, such as representatives of Japan, Azerbaijani gymnasts - Oleg Stepko and Petro Pahnyuk. But, I think that everyone needs to set his own task and do not look at his rivals,” Shatilov said.
In his turn, the Head Coach of the Israeli national team in Artistic Gymnastics, Sergei Vaysburg, noted that it would be more difficult to achieve positive results during the World Cup than it was at the First European Games. “At the European Games, there were gymnasts from Europe only. But, this is the World Cup and athletes from all over the world will gather here in Baku. Today, we shall mention Asian gymnasts who are one of the strongest gymnasts in the world. Anyway, we are here not only to participate, but also to try to take any prize-winning places,” he said.
It should be mentioned that the FIG World Challenge Cup in Artistic Gymnastics will be held on February 19-21 at Milli Gimnastika Arenası in Baku which hosted 6 gymnastics disciplines during the First European Games. 46 men and 22 women gymnasts from 19 countries will compete for medals in Apparatus Finals of the World Challenge Cup. In general, 146 people will arrive in Baku within the delegations. Qualifications among both men and women on the first two days of the competitions to be followed by Apparatus Finals on the last day. Various contests and entertaining flash mobs will be organized for the spectators in the course of the event.
Trend News Agency, February 12, 2016