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Bente BJANES: Baku gymnastics arena has no analogue in the world

15 August 2014

Bente BJANES: Baku gymnastics arena has no analogue in the world

Norway’s rhythmic gymnastics team visited Baku last week, where it held a training camp prior to the 33rd Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships to be held in Izmir. A beautiful hall of the National Gymnastics Arena has created an appropriate atmosphere for the trainings of the Scandinavian athletes; thus, the gymnast thoroughly enjoyed the preparation. A head of the Technical Committee of the Norway’s Gymnastics Federation Bente Bjanes shared her impressions in the interview to


This is your first visit after the European Championships, but not the first visit to Baku, isn’t it?
Indeed, it is. I have been on all the big tournaments that were held in Azerbaijan, including not only the Euro 2014, but also the previous continental championships. We arrived on the training camp with the two gymnasts who are getting ready to perform at the World Championships in Izmir. They are representing the «Asker» club, whose coach I am.


Therefore, you are a coach both of the national team and the club at the same time.
We have a little bit different system. Norway does not have a head coach of the rhythmic gymnastics national team. Our athletes attend different clubs and «Asker» is the leading in this direction. Since my students consistently get into the national team, I supervise them at this level.


How does gymnastics develop in Norway?
It is developed not so professionally, as almost all of our athletes attends school and visit the gym hall only in the evening. They train for three or four hours a day and do not have such a great opportunity, as the Azerbaijani gymnasts have. Your gymnasts constantly prepare, sharpening certain elements on the floor. Therefore, a trip to Baku was important in terms of the possibility of full training and acquiring the necessary condition. It is a great pleasure to not only to train, but also to stay in such a gym center.


How much did arena impress you?

I am confident that Baku has the best gym center in the world. I have something to compare with as I attended various tournaments in many countries, but there is no such wonderful conditions as in Azerbaijan. There is nothing to talk about - you have the best arena.


Did you have the opportunity to walk around Baku?
Yes, we carved out time and the city just enthralled me. I have already mentioned that this is my fourth visit to Azerbaijan’s capital and every time it does not cease to shock my imagination. Beautiful architecture, modern buildings, wonderful National Park - all of these looks very harmonious.


Are you satisfied with the outcome of the training camp?
Of course, I am, because a lot of work has been done during the week. The Azerbaijani coaches helped us to screw up the choreography, and sure, I want to express my gratitude to the head coach Mariana Vasileva. Earlier she came to give master classes in Norway, and I am happy that she conquers new heights with the team of Azerbaijan. I am very happy for Mariana, because she is a person faithfully devoted to gymnastics.