Countdown to Baku 2015 European Games (allAfrica.com)

The world has only a month to go to watch the first European Games in Baku. After receiving the flame last week Sunday, Baku 2015 have announced they have held a successful test event at the Olympic Stadium as preparations continue for the inaugural European Games that is set to take place June 12-28.

This test event was attended by 15,000 Baku 2015 Flame keepers and Organizing Committee staff. This was part of the preparation for the first European Games. “This was a great opportunity to the organizers by giving them the first glimpse inside the new Olympic Stadium how the European Games look like. It was also useful from an operational point of view, ensuring that we are fully prepared to deliver exciting Games next month,” Baku 2015 chief operating officer Simon Clegg said. The Olympic Stadium will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies including the athletics competitions during the Games.

Africa and Asia had their games in history. But for Europe this is the first time that these games are taking place. Azerbaijan agreed to host these games which makes them historic. So it is high time that the first big European Game will begin exactly a month from today. Baku is on its way to bring an end to the preparation period in just 30 days’ time.

This is not the first time for Baku to organize such a big event. Of course this is historic moment and occasion for the entire country and the rest of the world. We have to acknowledge that Azerbaijan is one of few countries that were ready to host such a big event as the country has modern sport infrastructures and facilities. Azerbaijan Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative of his country to African Union Elman Abdullayev remarked that his country earlier hosted different international events. “We can take the global multicultural dialogue forum as an example. We are hosting this May this big global event in our capital city Baku. This event is initiated by President of Azerbaijan, H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev and called Baku Process. We host dignitaries from all around the world. Representatives of governments, international organisations, different religions, cultures, will come to Azerbaijan and find a very harmonious place to be together, as they always did in the past.” He also noted that Azerbaijan hosted numerous international competitions since 2002.

The first European Games is expected to be exciting and memorable event. Ambassador Elman Abdullayev is confident that his country will successfully carry out the first European Games that will feature 20 sports, 12 of which will offer Olympic qualification for Rio 2016.

Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. Baku 2015 will put together more than 6,000 athletes from across Europe who will represent their nations over 17 days of competition.