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First European Games close with a glittering ceremony at Baku’s Olympic Stadium

Good place in medal standings

The closing event gathered high-ranking foreign guests, famous figures from the world of Azerbaijani culture and arts, and volunteers who’d helped the games to take place. A special area was allocated to sporting delegations from the major European countries. The organisers decided not to hold a traditional parade of teams; instead, athletes marched along the Olympic Stadium’s line together. Nikita Tsmyg, a silver medal holder at the Baku event, took the Belarusian flag to the stadium.

During the closing ceremony of the first European Games

The Head of the European Games’ Organisational Committee and the Azerbaijani President’s wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, expressed their thanks to sportsmen, volunteers and fans. “We are proud to host the 1st European Games. During the years of its independence, our country has achieved a high level of sporting development and I wish to thank athletes, fans and especially volunteers; without the latter’s help, it would have been impossible to hold the European Games at such a high level,” she said.

The President of the European Olympic Committees, Patrick Hickey, announced the Baku Games closed, noting that the continental sports arena in Azerbaijan would become a home for further multi-sport events.

European Games silver medallist Nikita Tsmyg

At these 1st European Games, the Belarusian team gained 43 medals (10 gold, 11 silver and 22 bronze), occupying seventh place in the medal table. The greatest number of medals were won in wrestling (free and Greco-Roman) which netted a total of 8. Seven medals were achieved in sambo, 6 in callisthenics and 5 medals in kayaking and canoeing. Our cyclists also showed their skill, winning two gold medals in two events. Belarus shared her seventh place with France (regarding the total number of medals). For silver medals alone, we shared eighth place with Spain and came fourth in the table for the number of bronze medals. Melitina Stanyuta (calisthenics) won the greatest number: one silver and three bronze. Meanwhile, Stepan Popov triumphed in the under 74kg sambo category. The Belarusian confidently defeated his Azerbaijani rival.

European Games silver medallist Olga Namazova

At the Games, Belarus was represented by 149 sportsmen who performed in acrobatics, boxing, free and Greco-Roman wrestling, cycling (track), beach volleyball, gymnastics, calisthenics, canoeing and kayaking, judo, swimming, synchronised swimming, diving, trampoline, archery, table tennis, rifle and pistol shooting, fencing, badminton, karate, sambo, taekwondo and triathlon. Among the athletes coming from Belarus were many winners and prize holders of the Olympic Games and the World and European championships.

According to the event’s organisational committee data, around 3,000 reporters (including 900 foreign) covered the Games, while 50 TV companies from all over the world were responsible for broadcasting.

By Yegor Glebov
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