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Athletics Officially Part of Baku 2015

02/10/14

Written by Mark Bisson

Pat Hickey has confirmed that athletics will be part of the first European Games in Baku and revealed that three cities are bidding for the 2019 edition.

Baku 2015 organizers held a briefing for journalists last night before a reception laid on for 150 guests at the four-star Azimut Hotel adjacent to the Olympic Park.

The European Olympic Committees chief told reporters that athletics would be the 19th sport on the program of the Games.

“We have accepted the third league of European Championships in the main stadium,” he said, adding that a street athletics event would be held.

This would be similar in format to the Manchester event, billed as the Great CityGames, which is now in its sixth year.

“That will be very attractive and exciting,” said the Irish IOC member.

The announcement by Hickey follows months of talks between the EOC and European Athletics Association to ensure athletics is part of Baku 2015. The EAA was previously reluctant to commit to anything because of contract commitments through 2015.

Hickey said Baku organizers were “full steam ahead with preparations,” praising the venues as “magnificent”.

Most Olympic cities have seven years to develop venues, he stressed.

“We had to telescope it down to two.”

Azeri sports minister Azad Rahimov said that four venues were currently under construction, including a gymnastics arena being built for the world championships in June and a 68,000-seat football stadium.

Hickey said he was encouraged by the noises made at the IOC Session in Sochi over the past week where delegates had expressed support to use continental Games as Olympic qualifiers.

Spyros Capralos, the Hellenic Committee chief who heads the EOC’s Baku coordination commission, said some of the proposals to revamp the Olympic program discussed at the IOC Session were part of the Baku 2015 sports schedule. They include some mixed events and new disciplines not on the Olympic program.

He said shooting, triathlon, fencing, archery, and likely boxing were among the sports whose federations were planning to use the European Games as a qualifying event for the Olympics.

For the 2019 European Games, all sports are expected to be Olympic qualifiers.

Bidding for Next Edition

Hickey highlighted the interest from European and international federations in the Baku 2015 project, saying the initial ambition had been to start “small and experimental” but 12 sports had jumped to 19 and six or seven more had been turned down to keep the Games manageable.

The IOC Executive Board member said the EOC would launch the bidding process for the 2019 host city later this month.

He confirmed that three cities had expressed an interest and the bidding procedure would “not be an elaborate system like the IOC [for the Olympics].”

“The last thing we want to do is make it full of bureaucracy and red tape,” he added.

Hickey said the European Games was “all about flexibility” and the EOC was keen to tailor the sports program to host cities in the future.

“We don’t want to be a carbon copy of other Games,” he said.

Around the Rings asked Hickey if he saw the United World Championships, a proposal from SportAccord president Marius Vizer, as a threat to the European Games concept.

“We haven’t heard of the world games being mentioned for a long time,” he responded, adding that he respected what SportAccord was doing with its multisports events such as the Beach Games.

Rahimov indicated that Baku 2015 could be a strong platform to stage an Olympic bid in the future.

He said Baku’s “biggest problem” with previous bids was its lack of experience staging international multisports events. If Baku 2015 went well, “we can proudly say we have passed this” and be “more successful” with an Olympic bid.

http://www.aroundtherings.com/site/A__45946/Title__Athletics-Officially-Part-of-Baku-2015/292/Articles

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Gotta love autocratic-dictatorial regimes with a passion for hosting sports events.

...saying a representative of a country with a doubtful historical experience.

What is your problem? Don't judge everyone according to values of your own. Let others pass their own way to prosperity!

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...saying a representative of a country with a doubtful historical experience. What is your problem? Don't judge everyone according to values of your own. Let others pass their own way to prosperity!

I am not a representative of Germany. I am German, second post-war generation. And I will not shut up about anything that goes against my values because of what previous generations of Germans did to the world.

And if you wanna believe the Aliyev PR, fine. Not my problem. I'm happy if Azerbaijan prospers. But maybe it's eventually just the Aliyev clan that's prospering and not the whole country?

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I am not a representative of Germany. I am German, second post-war generation. And I will not shut up about anything that goes against my values because of what previous generations of Germans did to the world.

And if you wanna believe the Aliyev PR, fine. Not my problem. I'm happy if Azerbaijan prospers. But maybe it's eventually just the Aliyev clan that's prospering and not the whole country?

I don't want to continue this senseless offtop polemic, however, I gonna claim that it eventually prospers the whole country and not only a ruling family and their western european contractors.

Don't trust hater German media which speads out only negative news about Azerbaijan while leaving anything positive in shadow. They seemed to be very excited before ESC 2012 and now they keep silence. I expect all those articles and furthermore to revive again prior to 2015 EG. Mark my words ;)

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Look, I know I'm the last person who you think will try and split up an argument, but here it is. Stefan is German. Galandar is Austrian, with Azerbaijan somewhere aswell. The moral of the story is, just because Germany had bad history from World War's, and Azerbaijan has bad history from the Soviet Union Days, doesn't mean the people from there believe in the animals from that country. There is good and bad everywhere. Back to topic. Does anyone know whether there will be a Handover Ceremony at the Closing Ceremony of the Baku 2015 European Games, to the 2019 Host?

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It isn't off topic to say that awarding international games to regimes who only want to use them as a grandiose national prestige and propaganda exercise is bringing the entire system into disrepute. China, Russia, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Russia again, is it any wonder that people in Switzerland and Germany for example say no, we want no part of this?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Azeris are doing a nice job. Also i'm so happy athletics got included. To me this wasn't a true pan-sport competition without the most important sport of all, and I actually didn't supported the idea of some who said athletics in the Europan Games would clash with the European Championships. Including this competition will certainly raise the profile of these games.

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Azeris are doing a nice job. Also i'm so happy athletics got included. To me this wasn't a true pan-sport competition without the most important sport of all, and I actually didn't supported the idea of some who said athletics in the Europan Games would clash with the European Championships. Including this competition will certainly raise the profile of these games.

I'm happy Athletics has been added as well. Baku's progress is going on well, the Olympic Stadium should be completed by March 2015, and the Gymnastics Arena should be completed this year. Can't wait to see the final outcome of the Aquatics Centre. I like the Crystal Hall's exterior design, but the interior is bad. Blind spots everywhere, with them roof pylons inside. Modern day arenas shouldn't have blindspots.

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EDIT: Actually now I've read what the so called athletics programme is made up of I take that back. The EAA doing itself no favours, seemingly prioritising a third tier of an unimportant European Cup competition over involvement in the new Eurolympics.

http://www.aroundtherings.com/site/A__45946/Title__Athletics-Officially-Part-of-Baku-2015/292/Articles

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just thought, will Armenia compete at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan? I ask because of the Political Tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan with Nagorno-Karabakh Territory. Also, Armenia did withdraw from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest Hosted at the Baku Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan. So like I ask, will Armenia compete at the European Games or not?

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I just thought, will Armenia compete at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan? I ask because of the Political Tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan with Nagorno-Karabakh Territory. Also, Armenia did withdraw from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest Hosted at the Baku Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan. So like I ask, will Armenia compete at the European Games or not?

I really doubt it. Another unsettled post-Soviet dispute which lingers on 25 years later and people on either side are not able to come to a sensible solution.

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