31 May 2008
The country will be represented in the individual tournament by the participants of the forthcoming Olympic Games in Beijing, Aliya Garayeva and Dinara Gimatova. Anna Gurbanova was presented as a reserve gymnast. According to the casting of lots, they found themselves in the strongest group – in the group A together with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Bulgaria and will perform one after another – under sequence number 7 and 8 accordingly.
Samira Mustafayeva and Nigar Abdusalimova, which will take part in such a prestigious sports forum for the first time, will perform in the events among the juniors. If Samira is an indisputable leader among juniors, then Nigar, according to the national team’s tutors, looked better than her team-mates during the last tournaments and in the training camp. According to the lots, they got number 4 of the group A in the start list.
Finally, the quintet, consisting of Vafa Huseynova, Anna Bitieva, Valeriya Egay, Alina Trepina and Anastasiya Prasolova, will represent Azerbaijan in the competition among teams in group exercises. Other participants of the forthcoming Olympic Games will perform first on the floor of Turin.
21 seniors, 100 juniors and 16 group teams from 35 countries of the Old World will gather at the Olympic Palasport Isozaki, named after a Japanese architect who has built this huge sports hall and which situated near the Olympic stadium that hosted hockey tournament in the Olympic Games in Turin-2006.
The formula and format of these European Championships differs from Euro-2007 held in Baku. This time, the juniors will define the European Champion in a team. Therefore, the points received by Mustafayeva and Abdusalimova can be not only a pass to the final in separate apparatuses but also can play a significant role in distribution of places in a final table. By the way, Samira will display performances with 3 apparatuses before the European board of judges: a rope, a hoop and a ball. And Nigar will perform with a ribbon.
As to the tournaments among seniors and groups, Garayeva and Gimatova will compete for medals of European quality in the final of the all-around, and the group team will perform in the absolute championship before reserving a place for themselves among 8 teams-finalists with 5 ropes and 3 hoops / 4 clubs.
The sports delegation in Turin will be accompanied by the official delegation headed by Altay Hasanov, the vice-president of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF). According to the press service of AGF, the delegation from Azerbaijan will also hold several meetings with the leadership of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG), as well as with the heads of the continental federations in the course of championships.