22 July 2016
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov addressed the opening ceremony of the FIG World Cup in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Baku on July 22.
“Today, I greet all the participants from different countries joined the World Cup in Rhythmic Gymnastics organized on the ancient land of Azerbaijan and express my best wishes. You are very welcome to our country,” the minister said.
He pointed out that nowadays, Azerbaijan is internationally acknowledged as a sports country.
“Consequently, organization of different international events – Continental and World Championships in Azerbaijan has already become an established tradition,” Rahimov said.
“Moreover, the hosting of the First European Games in 2015, the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe and the World Chess Olympiad in 2016, the Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017 namely in our country is a striking example of trust shown to Azerbaijan by international sports community,” he added.
“In order to justify this confidence, we are making efforts to carry out our duties in a worthy manner under special attention and leadership of the head of state, President of the National Olympic Committee of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev,” the minister said.
“I am confident that we will also hold this competition at the highest level,” Rahimov added. “Rhythmic Gymnastics is favourite sports discipline that attracts the large audience in the world, including our country.”
“I would like to emphasize that support and interest shown in all gymnastics disciplines, as well as in Rhythmic Gymnastics is significantly increased after election of first lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, MP Mehriban Aliyeva as the president of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation. As a result, all events are organized at high level and they turn into sports festival,” the minister said.
“There has been held three World Cup series in Rhythmic Gymnastics in our country since 2003, the World Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics in 2005, as well as three European Championships from 2007 so far,” he said. “Today, the country already hosts its 4th World Cup series in this gymnastics discipline.”
“Taking an opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to the leadership of the International Federation of Gymnastics for its confidence in the organization of such a prestigious event in our republic,” he added.
Rahimov pointed out that these competitions with a participation of athletes from 17 countries of the world will certainly play an important role in further development and promotion of this gymnastics discipline in Azerbaijan and create favorable conditions for the athletes to gain experience.
“I am sure that this tournament will become an unforgettable event for the spectators and fans who came to watch the competitions,” he noted.
“I hope that the athletes, trying out their routines at such an event, will also demonstrate their skills at the XXXI Summer Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro this August,” the minister added.
Rahimov wished each athlete to compete with dignity, win a victory and announced the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup AGF Trophy open.
Trend News Agency, July 22, 2016