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Sports festival at the National Gymnastics Arena

12 August 2014

Sports festival at the National Gymnastics Arena

Azerbaijan’s two-day joint national championships in gymnastics has ended in Baku - the first sporting event which brought together all six species - male and female gymnastics, tumbling, trampoline, acrobatic gymnastics and aerobic gymnastics.

The first day of the championships was best remembered thanks to the performances of the artistic gymnasts, who was fighting in the all-around. Marina Nekrasova won the title of absolute champion, leaving behind Mariia Smirnova and Yuliya Inshina who won silver and bronze medals respectively. It is noteworthy that this was the first performance of the artistic gymnasts in the history of independent Azerbaijan.

"I really wanted to win, and sure, I am very happy," Marina Nekrasova commented on her own victory. "Moreover, I have tried the new elements, new combinations - well, obviously, that I became the first." The gymnast also emhasized the magnificence of the Arena, where the championships was held.

The silver medalist of the European championships in the vault, Anna Pavlova also delighted the audience, performing on her favorite apparatus. She said she only gaining shape before the second half of the season, so the coach did not set task to go through all apparatus.
"It's great that we felt the aura of the Arena which will host the European Games,” she said. “It is very important for us, because there was a great opportunity not only to take part in the championships, but also to make the podium trainings." Anna also noted that the World Cup would be the main event of the second half of the year. "During the Azerbaijani championship we were able to test our skills in combat, as to train is one thing, while to compete - is quite another.”

The second day of the championship was remarkable thanks to the incredibly spectacular performances of men gymnasts, including the athletes such as the leader of the national team, Oleg Stepko, who has become the absolute champion of the country following the results of the tournament, and Petro Pahnyuk who won the silver medal. Another representative of the team, Ruslan Namazov became the bronze medalist of the championships.


Along with the artistic gymnastics, the championships also featured acrobatic gymnastics and tumbling. Female trio of acrobats including Aynur Huseynova, Narmin Ramazanova and Lala Huseynova especially remembered to the audience thanks to the bright performance. The duet consisting of Aygun Ahmadova and Ruhidil Gurbanli became the sole winner among the young talents.

The performances of trampolinists were very spectacular - these athletes were hovering in the air, seemingly not even touching the ground. A talented Azerbaijani jumper, Mikhail Malkin won the gold medal of the championships, leaving behind Hafiz Rzayev and Said Salimov.

An aerobics team - Dmitry Dolmatov, Anna Poleshuk, Vera Bosykh, Anastasia Koltunova and Yekaterina Kotliarova pleased the audience acting between the main performances. Moreover, trampolinists Oleg Piunov, Ilya Grishunin, Ruslan Agamirov and Svetlana Makshtareva showed breathtaking jumps on their apparatus.

The famous Russian gymnast, 1996 Olympic champion, 2000 Olympic bronze medalist Yevgeny Podgorny honored the national championships with his presence. Noting the high level of organization, Podgorny expressed admiration for our capital.
"I even could not imagine that the city is so beautiful and modern. Together with my friends, I have visited almost all of its parts, and each time it opens up in a new way - even more interesting than the previous one and it is just wonderful!"

We should recall that Gymnastics Federation holds joint tournaments not for the first time. Focused on promoting these kinds of sports, such tournament is more appealing to viewers who can personally watch the fights in artistic gymnastics, acrobatics and tumbling at the same time and place.


Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has invited foreign judges, the holders of the international judging Brevet, to take part in this sporting event this time as well. Among the six invited judges, there is a member of the Technical Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation, Arthur Mitskevich from Latvia, and, two representatives of the Technical Committee of the European Union of Gymnastics, Mario Vukoja from Croatia and Dmitry Andreev from Russia, as well as Vice President of Georgian Gymnastics Federation, Besarion Gamsakhurdia, Secretary General of Belarusian Gymnastics Federation, Andrey Fedorov, and, head coach of Kazakh gymnastics school, Alexander Kim.

Milli Gimnastika Arenası, where the European and Azerbaijan Championships in rhythmic gymnastics were successfully organized, hosted similar event in other gymnastics disciplines this time, on the threshold of the spring qualifying tournament for Baku 2015 – the First European Games to be held in our country next year.

Some 80 athletes representing four sports societies - Baku Gymnastics School, Republican Olympic Sports Lyceum, Sports School of Nizami district and “Neftchi” competed in the event in total.