Author: Sanan SHAFIZADEH
The 29th European Acrobatic Gymnastics Championship in Holon, Israel opened a new page in the history of Azerbaijani sports. Our athletes returned home with gold, silver and bronze medals.
For the first time, Azerbaijan became the European champion of the continent among the youth. Athlets Murad Rafiyev and Daniel Abbasov (28.260 points) took the first place in the tempo exercises. Thus, the gymnasts became the owners of the entire set of medals because before that they also won the bronze in balance exercises and the silver in all-around exercises.
Abdullah Al-Meshayhi and Rukhidil Gurbanly won a medal showing good performance among the adult athletes. In the final, the gymnasts received 28.680 points for their tempo performance and were awarded the bronze medal of the championship. In addition, on the second day of the competition, the winners of the 2nd European Games in Minsk took the third place in the balance exercises and became fifth in the all-around.
Seymur Jafarov and Murad Akperov, a male couple performing in competitions among adults, had to stop just a step away from the medal. In the final round of the balance exercises, they became the fourth with 28.550 points, fifth in the all-around and sixth in tempo.
The head coach of the Azerbaijan acrobatic gymnastics team Irada Gurbanova expressed satisfaction with the results of her students. "We are in good shape and rising. Our most serious rivals were Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain and Belgium. We expected two medals from male couples. But they did not have 0.5 points to win bronze medals. They could have won nine medals instead of five. Yet this is a great success for us. In recent years, acrobatic gymnastics becomes increasingly popular. Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation is giving great attention to this sport. Success in the European championship increases our responsibility and encourages us. The guys are on the right track. The results achieved in Israel are not the limit. We must continue to work hard to achieve more success. Gold, silver and bronze medals at the European championship prove that we are among the most talented athletes of the world," Gurbanova said.
She emphasized that the national team will take part in the World Cup next year, in May 2020 in Switzerland.
"The training was very difficult. Nevertheless, we won two bronze medals," said Abdullah Al-Meshayhi. According to him, the competition was very difficult and intense. "In the final round of pace exercises, we scored 26,680 points and were awarded bronze medals. On the second day of the championship, we took the third place for balance exercises. This is a great success for us, but not the limit. We are preparing for the world championship next year. We must show even better performance to get the gold medals," the athlete said.
The first gold medal in the history of Azerbaijani sports in acrobatic gymnastics increases the responsibility of our athletes. We now have a strong team of athletes who can raise the name of Azerbaijan in the future competitions.