The 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships are being held in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku on September 16-22, with more than 300 gymnasts from 61 countries of the world set to take part in the championships and perform both in the individual program and in the group exercise program.
Maryam Safarova is one of the participants in the upcoming competitions, who will represent Azerbaijan at the championships in an individual program. The athlete told Trend how her love for rhythmic gymnastics began.
"I started getting interested in gymnastics after I watched a movie about this sport as a child. I liked it so much that I wanted to train myself. It just so happened that there was a gym next to our house, and seeing how girls went to train there every day made me want to do rhythmic gymnastics even more,” she said.
"I started training at the age of 6. As time went on it became clear that I was getting better at it, and I began to engage in rhythmic gymnastics professionally. I like that in rhythmic gymnastics one can express their emotions and show artistry,” she added.
Participation in the 37th Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships is a significant milestone in Safarova’s sports career.
"At the championships, I will perform in an individual program with one object - a rope. Before the competition I train a lot every day to show a good result. I realize the seriousness of the competition and I understand the responsibility we bear on our shoulders. I really want to perform well, without mistakes, so that my program is liked and remembered by the audience," she said.
To date, Maryam Safarova has participated as a junior and won in international tournaments in Israel (individual program), Bulgaria and Hungary (as part of a team in group exercises). As a senior, Safarova performed at a competition in Poland.
"My goal in sports is participation and victory in big tournaments, championships, and of course, the Olympics. I wish to become a famous athlete," she said.
According to Safarova, support from the audience is of great importance to her during the competitions, so she urges fans of rhythmic gymnastics to attend competitions of the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships and to support the Azerbaijani team.
"I get anxious before the competition, and the coach helps me to cope with it. She calms me down, helps me focus and says the right words. The audience helps me a lot, their support inspires me, and I perform better and with more confidence,” the athlete said.
After 14 years, Baku will again host the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships. During seven days, the gymnasts will perform in the National Gymnastics Arena, both in the individual program and as part of teams in group exercises. The gymnasts will compete in the competitions with individual apparatuses and in the all-around competitions. The names of the best athletes in the team event will also be announced.
The World Championships are the qualifying competitions for the Olympic Games - 2020. Not only the winners, but also new candidates for the Olympic Games will be named following these Championships.
TOP-16 gymnasts performing in the individual all-around program will get the licenses (maximum two gymnasts from the country). As for the teams involved in group exercises, following the results of the last year’s World Cup, the teams of Bulgaria, Russia and Italy have already obtained the licenses. Five more teams will also get the licenses during the World Championships in Baku.www.anews.az