POSTED: January 28th 2014

Inaugural European Games in Baku 500 days away

CHAD WISE / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The first European Games in Baku will begin in just 500 days, with tournament organisers eager to put on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Qualifier.

The inaugural European Games is the result of the European Olympic Committees’ objective to host a pan-continental, multi-sport event for the Olympic nations and athletes of Europe. All 49 National Olympic Committees of Europe participating in the Baku 2015 Games will receive sports qualification information from Baku 2015 organisers.

At least seven sports on the Baku 2015 competition programme will serve as a qualifying platform for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Baku 2015 announced, including cycling, shooting, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon and volleyball (beach).

More than 5,400 athletes are expected to participate in 18 sports in Baku.

“I wish Baku well as it enters the final 500 days of Games preparations, and I am confident that Baku will stage a high-quality sporting event that will make Europe proud,” European Olympic Committees President and Senior International Olympic Committee Member Patrick Hickey said. “We congratulate everyone involved in Baku 2015 for reaching this important milestone, and for the continued progress in preparing to stage a spectacular sporting event and experience for the athletes and nations of Europe.”

“The large scale building projects for the Games will provide benefits for our cities, communities, and young people for decades to come – from the new airport to the 13 transport upgrades to boost the underground and bus systems, while the new world-class venues will inspire more young people to participate in sport and provide a new home for sport in Europe,” Azerbaijan Minister of Youth and Sports and Baku 2015 Chief Executive Azad Rahimov said.

Rahimov said Baku would benefit from the Games just as much as athletes because of the legacy it would leave, with planners, service providers and companies across all aspects of Games preparations set to gain valuable knowledge and experience.

“This will help to further establish Baku and Azerbaijan as a dynamic new destination in Europe for sports, business, tourism and culture,” Rahimov said.

Baku 2015 will be the largest sporting event in Azerbaijan’s history and will provide opportunities for residents and communities to participate through ticketing, volunteering, culture and other Games programmes.

Games venues under construction will be completed by their scheduled target date, while others will be ready for test events as early as this year. The Baku Athletes Village is already considered the best accommodation and preparation facilities for elite athletes.

“Good progress is being made and momentum is continuing to build, but there will be no complacency among our teams,” Baku 2015 Operating Committee Chief Operating Officer Jim Scherr said. “There is a great deal that still needs to be done during the next 500 days to fulfill our responsibilities to the European Olympic Committees, the people of Azerbaijan and the athletes of Europe, but we are pleased with our progress to date.”

Keywords · Baku 2015 · European Games · European Olympic Committees · Rio 2016 · Olympics · Olympic Games · Summer Olympics · Azerbaijan · Baku ·

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