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05 June 2008


Perhaps, you remember, a team called “Philadlphia-76” had performed in North American Basketball Association 10-15 years ago. The whole Europe knew and liked it because such a great basketball-player as an Olympic champion Charles Barkley had begun to play there.

Now, they knew in Europe that there is 82, Philadelphia as well. But it is not a basketball club and even not a football club. It is the street in the center of Turin where Palasport Olimpico Isozaki complex is situated. And the 24th European Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics have started namely in this complex. It was built especially for the Olympic tournament in hockey for the Games-2006, photo-banners adjoining now to gymnastic placards and illustrations can serve as the evidence.

And today, the championships’ first medals have been played and the winners among group teams have been defined in Turin according to the results of the all-around.

Having received 31.825 points, an Azerbaijani team took the 8th place in this kind of the program. It enabled Vafa Huseynova, Anna Bitiyeva, Valeriya Yegay, Alina Trepina and Anastasiya Prasolova to reach both finals – with 5 ropes and 3 hoops/4 clubs.

The gymnasts, trained by Mariana Vasileva, received 16.2 points (7th place) for the exercises with ropes, and 15.65 points (8th place) for their performance with hoops and clubs. Both finals will be held on Saturday. And Russian gymnasts became the champions in the all-around. The “silver” was won by Belarus, the “bronze” – by the floor’s hostesses.

Before the groups’ performances, the juniors had been competing. Samira Mustafayeva performed first among our gymnasts.She received 23.25 points for the exercise with a hoop and took the 9th place among 33 participants. She didn’t qualify for a final with this apparatus but she received a status of the first reserve gymnast. Our second junior gymnast Nigar Abdusalimova became the 26th (21.35 points) in the events with a rope. The young gymnasts will continue their performances tomorrow, on June 6: Samira will show a composition with a ball and Nigar will perform with a ribbon before the European board of judges. Senior gymnasts will also compete tomorrow – Aliya Garayeva and Dinara Gimatova will perform in the final of the all-around of the European Championships.