• Id: 27710

Combat sports boost for Baku 2015 European Games

Baku 2015 is on course to attract Europe’s top sports stars, after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced it will allocate ranking points for competitions at continental multi-sport Games such as the European Games, which take place for the first time in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2015.

AIBA’s new policy means that fighters who win gold at the European Games will now also win up to 700 vital ranking points on the AIBA Ranking System.

Dr CK Wu, President of AIBA, said: “AIBA’s decision to allocate ranking points at continental Games recognises that the best boxers in the world are now frequently competing at these events, raising the standard of competition to an extremely high level.

“I am very excited to see how the European Games contributes to the continued development of boxing in Europe in the future.”

Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: “Boxing is one of the most popular sports here in Azerbaijan, so for competitors to be able to win ranking points at next year’s European Games is a superb addition to our sports programme.”

In addition, the Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) is pleased to announce that the increasingly popular sport of Sambo will be included in the Baku 2015 sports programme.

In line with the European Olympic Committees’ (EOC) vision to make the European Games innovative and pioneering and following an excellent presentation by the International Sambo Federation, BEGOC has decided to include Sambo, a decision which has been subsequently approved by the EOC.

Sambo is an explosive mix of judo, jujitsu and wrestling as well as other fighting styles, and is extremely popular in Azerbaijan with a long history throughout the surrounding Caucasus region.

Mr Clegg said: “We are delighted to formally announce that Sambo will be included in the sports programme at Baku 2015 and increase the number of innovative new sports we will have on display at next year’s inaugural Games.

“The opportunity to include such a highly popular sport here in Azerbaijan will further increase the excitement about the event and potentially leave the European Olympic Committees with the legacy of including popular local sports within future sport programmes.”

Sambo’s inclusion now means a total of 20 sports will feature at Baku 2015, with 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports on display.

Meanwhile, Wrestling will also be boosted at Baku 2015 next summer by the inclusion of six more weight categories.

An additional 80 quota places have been granted to the sport and will be filled by the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA).

In total, more than 480 wrestlers will now compete at Baku 2015 over six days of action, with 24 gold medals to be won in the men’s and women’s categories at the Heydar Aliyev Arena.

Mr Nenad Lalovic, President of FILA, said: “It is wonderful to have increased allocation for our athletes to compete at the first European Games.

“We are very much looking forward to Europe’s finest wrestlers battling it out for the honour of being recognised as the first ever continental champion.”

BEGOC can also today announce that Street Athletics, featuring High Jump and Pole Vault, will appear as a demonstration sport at next year’s event.

The inclusion of the two disciplines further demonstrates Baku 2015’s dedication to creating a forward-thinking and innovative approach to hosting the first European Games.

Mr Pierce O’Callaghan, Director of Sport at Baku 2015, added: “The fact that so many sports on our programme are using Baku 2015 as a crucial event to advance the athletes’ careers shows how the European sport family is fully behind the first European Games.

“Having expanded the sports programme, we are looking forward to high-quality competition in a range of exciting and innovative sports next year and to welcoming the elite athletes of Europe to Baku.”


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