Wrestling in Baku. (EYOF Channel)
(ATR) Azerbaijan leads the medal count on day two of the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku.
The 12 medals won so far by the Azeri youngsters are all in wrestling, the defacto national sport. Six of the medals are gold.
Following Azerbaijan are Russia and Georgia among the 14 national teams which have won at least won one medal.
The EYOF is the grandparent of the Youth Olympic Games movement. Jacques Rogge launched the event 25 years ago when was president of the European Olympic Committees, prior to becoming IOC President. Rogge used the EYOF as the model for creation of the IOC’s Youth Olympic Games, which began in 2010.
Around 2600 athletes aged 14 to 18, from 50 European nations, are competing this week in Baku. All 10 sports on the program are included in the Olympics, with team sports in volleyball, basketball and handball.
Opening ceremony was July
Athletics underway in Baku (EYOF)
20, closing day is July 27.
Tennis is underway today along with swimming and athletics. Wrestling ends today.
Streaming coverage from Baku is available on YouTube.
For many of the athletes the EYOF is the first big international competition they have attended noted European Olympic Committees President Janez Kocijančič in his opening ceremony speech.
“The European Youth Olympic Festival is known as a factory of future champions and Olympic medalists. It is also an opportunity to prove that the young generation of European athletes is growing together with the Olympic ideals, with the idea of peace, friendship and collaboration among all nations, and with the ideas of integrity, inclusivity, solidarity, honesty and fair play," he said.
For Azerbaijan the EYOF is the latest international sports event the nation has hosted. In 2015 Baku was the venue for the inaugural European Games, which left a legacy of venues that are being used for the EYOF. In 2017 Baku hosted the Islamic Solidarity Games and the IJF Judo World Championships in 2018.
"As we approach the half way point in the Games, there is a positive feeling from the teams and they are certainly enjoying the #spiritofbaku," says Djordje Visacki, the chair of the EOC Coordination Commission.
"As we experienced during the inaugural European Games in 2015 here in Baku, the sports venues are fantastic and the Athletes Village is of a high standard. Together with my colleagues from the Coordination Commission, we are satisfied that the organizers have worked with us and reacted to some of the hurdles that we had to overcome during the opening days. We are confident that the remaining days here in Baku will be a success and that we will look back on these Games with a feeling of satisfaction."
Reported by Ed Hula.
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