Press Release 7 - Sunday, May 4th, Baku



Sunday 4th of May 2014.  The fourth and final day at the European Senior Taekwondo Championships 2014 in Baku saw the participation of the -68 and – 74 kilogram men and the -53 and -67 kilogram women.

-68 Male Final Results:
TAZEGUL SERVET: GOLD (Turkey)
DENISENKO ALEXEY: SILVER (Russia)
ARVETII VLADISLAV: BRONZE (Moldova)
RICHARDS RUEBYN: BRONZE (Great Britain) 

-74 Kilogram Male Final Results:
GAUN ALBERT: GOLD (Russia)
MAIZEROI TORANN: SILVER (France) 
SHAHBAZOV ILKIN: BRONZE (Azerbaijan)
DEER ANDREW: BRONZE (Great Britain)

-53 Kilogram Female Final Results:
ZANINOVIC ANA: GOLD (Croatia)
KIM EKATERINA: SILVER (Russia)
MIKKONEN SUVI: BRONZE (Finland)
LIBORIO FLORIANE: BRONZE (France)

-67 Kilogram Female Final Results:    
BARYSHNIKOVA ANASTASIA: GOLD (Russia)
NIARE HABY: SILVER (France)
TATAR NUR: BRONZE (Turkey)
AZIZOVA FARIDA: BRONZE (Azerbaijan)

SERVET TAZEGUL (Turkey) 2014 European Champion said:
‘The Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called me and congratulated all the athletes. I gave him a promise one week ago, that I am going to win the gold medal and he is so happy because I kept that promise.What I have done today it is a step forward for the Rio Olympic Games.Taekwondo is even more difficult now and the European level has been increased so I work hard every day because all the countries are at the same level. My next goal is the Grand Prix in China.I love taekwondo and the President of our Federation is very good beacuse he supports us so much and we make a very good team. Also my father supports me very much all these years.’

ZANINOVIC ANA & LUCIJA (Croatia); The first ever twin sisters to win the European Championships at the same event stated: *(ANA) ‘We feel amazing to be together as gold medalists at the same time. My sister Lucija won two days ago and now we both feel very good and that we reached our goals together.We prefer to focus on one competition at a time so up next is the Grand Prix in China. Thanks to our coach Tony and to our parents for their support.’

Mr ATHANASIOS PRAGALOS ETU PRESIDENT: ‘These championships had three historical firsts. 46 countries participated, live broadcasting was provided via EBU/Eurovision and on the final day we saw history with Zaninovic twins who both won gold medals. Our goal is to continue the hard work to establish the love of the people for the sport of taekwondo. I would like to thank all the people who worked hard at these championships and of course special thanks for the hospitality of the beautiful city of Baku.

Press Release 6 - Saturday, May 3rd, Baku



The third day at the European Senior Taekwondo Championships 2014 in Baku saw the participation of the -63 and –80 kilogram men and the -57 and -73 kilogram women.

-57 Kliogram  Female Final Results

EVA CALVO GOMEZ: GOLD (Spain)
JADE JONES: SILVER (Great Britain)
AGHAKISHIYEVA GUNAY: BRONZE (Azerbijian)
NIKITA GLASNOVIC: BRONZE (Sweden) 

-73 Kilogram Female Final Results

IVA RADOS: GOLD (Croatia)
MILILICA MANDIC: SILVER (Serbia) 
FURKAN ASENA AYDIN: BRONZE (Turkey)
KREZEMIENIECKA, ALEKSANDRA: BRONZE (Poland)

-63 Kilogram Male Final Results

JAOUAD, ACHAB: GOLD (Belgium)
PANTAR, JURE: SILVER (Slovenia)
PILAVAKIS IOANNIS: BRONZE (Cyprus)
MARIO SILVA: BRONZE (Portugal)

-80 Kilogram Male Final Results

AARON COOK: GOLD (Isle of Man)
DAMON SAMSUN: SILVER (Great Britain)
RAMIN AZIZOV: BRONZE (Azerbijain)
MAMEDY DOUCARA: BRONZE (France)

AARON COOK (Isle Of Man) 2014 European Champion said:
‘I’m really happy to have won today as it was a tough battle in the final. I’m in good form currently and really delighted to get some valuable ranking points on the road to Rio. I was proud to have my brother in my corner as my coach and its a lovely moment for my parents and for the Isle of Man federation president Richard Halasl. They have all supported me so much and its really nice to pay them back by winning my third senior European championships.’

CALVO GOMEZ EVA (Spain) 2014 European Champion stated: ‘I cannot believe it that I won the gold medal I do not know what to say I am so happy. The last game on the finals was absolutely the most difficult game for me in the Championships and I was participating against Jade Jones who is an Olympic Medalist but in the end I made it happen and I won the gold one.’

RADOS IVA (Croatia) 2014 European Champion responded: ‘What happen today it was great I am so happy and so proud of myself and for the hard work I did I am really proud. The last game in the finals was really difficult against to an Olympic Medalist.’

The ETU Technical Committee Chairman and Council Member, Mr Angelo Cito, stated: 

“Azerbijian has a strong history in hosting top class Taekwondo events and its always a pleasure to come back here and see how much progress Baku is making. The city is always evolving and improving and it will be a great host for the 2015 European Games”.

Concerning the challenges of hosting a big Taekwondo event on live TV:

“We are always delighted to showcase our sport on live television
 and this time its great to have it in full HD. It helps us to promote the sport and share our athletes stories with the world. We are working hard to improve within the ETU to ensure that we can satisfy the expectations of Live television it is a challenge and a learning curve for all of our committees but we are certain we can manage it and know that will make it better at every event” and he added:

 “Our sport is always evolving and we are very proud of how modern the sport is and most important that it is fair and transparent. All of the rule changes have improved the sport and made it more dynamic and exciting. The athletes have always shown a great ability to adapt and they along with the coaches are doing a fantastic job, we are sure that we at the ETU can continue to match their efforts.” 

Press Release 5 - Friday, May 2nd, Baku



The Second day of the ETU European Taekwondo Championships saw the medalists for the -49 kilogram females and the +73 Kilogram females and also the -87 Kilogram men and the -58 kilogram men.
 
-49 Kilogram Bronze Medalist- GONDA IVETT (Hungary National Team): 'by earning this my medal I am in my personal goals but it was not my best performance sure I can do much better. This tournament it will be for me a way to learn from what I did wrong and make my improvements. I have been for a long time in taekwondo journey in high level competitions like the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008 and this sport will be always a challenge for me and also the fact that has changed is an extra key for me. Is not difficult to be taekwondo player and also has many personal challenges. My future plans is to compete in the Grand Prix in China and also in all the open events that are taking place in the next year because is very important to me. I would love to stay in the sport and help in any way I can the young people that wish to enter this sport and influence them and inspire them.’
 
-49 Kilogram Silver Medal- AZIEZ YASMINA: (France National Team): ‘My feelings right now are really confused. I feel so happy for winning the medal but on the other hand I feel a little be disappointed because I wanted the gold medal. It is like 50%-50%.Maybe tomorrow when I will have clear mind I can be totally happy for what I achieved here today. The fact that I have an injury on my knee it is a negative and made it difficult for me to fight today and prepare properly. Grand Prix in China is my next goal and my studies of course as a Nutritionist.’
 
73+ Kilogram Gold Medal- WALKDEN BIANCA (Great Britain National Team): ‘I feel absolutely amazing, I am so happy really. This European Taekwondo Championships in Baku it was really tough, the participants were great players and the level is too high, so I gave it all and I got the gold medal. My next goal is the Grand Prix in China and I am positive and hope for a medal there and of course the gold one. Taekwondo is my life and I will continue is this sport and work hard because I want in the future
 
-58 kilogram Male Gold Medal- RUI BRIGANCA (Portugal National Team):
 
Rui Briganca-Portugal: “It's a wonderful feeling to win the European Championships, I dedicate it to my coach who helped me so much. I’ve been close to winning a major before with a world championship silver but its been a little bit of time since I won a big competition so to become European champion is great feeling. I didn’t feel at my best earlier in the day and my toughest match was probably the quarter final but all respect to Levent Tuncat he is a great fighter and great champion and it's a great feeling to win here especially as I am self funded by my parents who work hard to support me, taekwondo is a big challenge
 
-58 kilogram Male Silver Medal- LEVENT TUNCAT (Germany National Team):
 
Levent Tuncat “ I gave it my very best today and I’m proud to have got a silver here, I’ve won the Europeans 3 times before as a senior so it’s ok that the next generation are coming and doing so well. I’ve been injured for a long time and so my priority is just to stay healthy. I tried to mix together the old style of taekwondo and the news style to give Rui some problems but hes a great player and people underestimate his skill level, he has great adaptations and ability so well done to him. I plan to stay injury free and enjoy my career”
 
-87 Kilogram Gold Medal- RADIK ISAEV (Azerbaijan National Team):
 
“I am grateful to God for his grace to help me to win. God is the first thing in my life and he guided and strengthened me for victory today. I had a lot of pressure on me to perform here in my own country and home city but in the end the support motivated me and I am proud to be the European Champion”
 
- 87 Kilogram Silver Medal- N’DIAYE M’BAR (French National Team):
 
“I am both happy and sad to win silver, I gave it everything I had and I am proud to get a silver one, I know I can go one step further next time. I had a good game plan and strategy from my coach Myriam Baverelle and I thank her for her motivation and guidance”

Press Release 4 - Thursday 1st May 2014. Baku



The first day of action ended with fantastic action here at the 2014 Senior European Taekwondo Championships in Baku. 

The -46 kilogram and the -62 kilogram female fighters took to the mat and they were joined by the -54 kilogram and +87 kilogram men.

The finals provided a dramatic showcase of the talents of the athletes with the final podiums comprising of: 

Nina Klaey (Switzerland) – 62 Kilogram (Gold)
Marina Sumic (Croatia) – 62 Kilogram (Silver)
Rabia Gulec (Germany) -62 kilogram female (bronze)
Wiet Magda (France) ) -62 kilogram female (bronze)

Mustapha, Hajer (France) -46 kilogram female (Gold)
Irayna Romoldonova (Ukraine) -46 kilogram female (Silver)
Mateja Kunovic (Croatia) – 46 kilogram female (bronze)
Asia Bailey (GBR) – 46 kilogram female (bronze)

Dimitrov Stepan (Moldova) – 54 kilogram male (Gold)
Georgios Simitsis (Greece) – 54 kilogram male (Silver)
Jesus Tortosa Cabrera (Spain) – 54 kilogram male (Bonze)
Dolas, Mehmet (Turkey) – 54 kilogram male (Bronze)

Silla , Arman Marshall (Belarus) 87+ kilogram ( Gold)
Golec Verdan (Croatia) 87+ kilogram (Silver)
Volker Wodzich (Germany) 87 + kilogram Bronze
Leonardo Basile (Italy) + kilogram Bronze

 

Bronze Medalist (France) – 62 kilogram WIET MAGDA: ‘I felt a little bit disappointed for not being in the final but on the other hand it makes me feel happy that I will take something back home. It is really difficult to stay focus through the games and I was really stressed but I tried to do give the maximum. It was also difficult for me because I know in personal the other girls who I was fighting with. I feel that I am going to do taekwondo for another 10 years at least but I am also a student in sports journalist.’  

Gold Medlaist (France) -46 kilogram MUSTAPHA HAJER: ‘I am really excited and happy that why I celebrate it so much with my coach. I couldn’t believe that I made it. It was a difficult day for me but because I wanted so much to get the medal I stayed focus on this and I was proper prepared. I will keep working hard in taekwondo and keep training as I have many tournaments in which I will participate and in the meantime I will focus on my studies and become a sport’s teacher. ‘ 

87+ Kilogram Gold medlaist Volker Wodzich
“ I’m happy to get a medal but I really hope win Gold in the future, I did my best but it wasn’t to be this time but I’m going to keep training hard and push for more success”

87+ Kilogram Gold medlaist Silla Arman Marshall (Belarus)
“Im really happy to win gold here, I’ve trained really hard for today and I felt strong. I was happy with my performance and it was nice to win with a good headkcik at the end. I want to thank my coach for supporting me and motivating me I’m really happy tob e the European Heavyweight Champion. I’m going tor y and make it to the Rio Olympics in 2016 so this is a good start on the road”

Press Release 3 - Thursday 1st May 2014. Baku



The first day of action began at the 2014 Senior European Taekwondo Championships in Baku. 

The -46 kilogram and the -62 kilogram female fighters took to the mat and they were joined by the -54 kilogram and +87 kilogram 

The semi finals have been completed and everyones congratulations goes to the bronze medalists

Rabia Gulec (Germany) -62 kilogram female (bronze)
Wiet Magda (France) ) -62 kilogram female (bronze)

Mateja Kunovic (Croatia) – 46 kilogram (bronze)
Asia Bailey (GBR) – 46 kilogram (bronze)

SEMIFINALS flash quotes

CROATIA (Mateja Kunoric)
“I feel great and this medal will also feel great tomorrow”

Great BRITAIN (Asia Bailey)
“I felt good today but of course my goal was to be first”

Finalists flash quotes

40.GREECE (Simitis Georgios)
I feel very happy.My first game wasn’t good, that’s why I felt sad.But in this game I’ve  won and I feel very good.

42.SWITZERLAND (Nina)
It’s a great feeling to be in the final. So I want to win gold medal.

Press Release 2. – Press Conference Wednesday 30th April 2014



Wednesday 30 April 2014. Baku. The official press conference took place at  Kempinski Hotel Badamdar for the 2014 Senior European Taekwondo Championships.  

The Minister of Youth and Sport in Azerbaijan, Mr. Azad Rahimov, commented that 
“Azerbijian is a nation with a strong heritage and history within Taekwondo. This event is a great opportunity to showcase our city and to help the World Taekwondo Federation and the European Taekwondo Union to inspire the youth through Taekwondo”

Dr. Choue Chungwon-World Taekwondo Federation President stated
“ European Taekwondo is on the rise and I’m impressed with the continuous development of the athletes and the European Taekwondo Union. Azerbaijan has always been a strong supporter of Taekwondo and they have hosted many successful competitions which gives them a very strong platform for the 2015 European Games. I am very happy with the excellent work being done by ETU president Mr. Sakis Pragalos”

Athanasios Pragalos  -ETU President  mentioned
“It is a pleasure to be here and to ensure the successful progress of our sport and it is wonderful to see the great developments here in Baku. The European Championships are always a proud showcase of the talented athletes that we have, with  three Olympic Champions here today as ambassadors  who represent the strength of Taekwondo in Europe. We are delighted with the work of the Azerbaijani organizing committee and anticipate fantastic championships”.
The three assembled Olympic Champions commented that

Carlo Molfetta- Olympic Champion London 2012 – Baku has changed and improved so much since I came here in 2005. It’s a beautiful place to relax before the hard work of the competition and I think it will help me to perform at my best

Tazegul Servet -Gold Medalist Olympic Champion London 2012
The road to the Rio Olympics begins here for us and this event carries a lot of ranking points so I’m really motivated.  I hope to perform well and entertain the fans

Milicia Mandic-Olympic Champion London 2012
“It is a great pleasure to be here with all of the leaders of the World Taekwondo Federation the welcome of the organizers and volunteers has been great and I’m happy to be here and ready to compete”.
Aside from the press conference the European Taekwondo Union held its General Council meeting where the executive council unanimously welcomed Scotland as a provisional member of the ETU. 

Press Release 1: The European Taekwondo Senior Championships in the “Land of Fire”



The Excitement is growing here in Baku for the start of the European Taekwondo Senior Championships. Almost 400 athletes from a record 46 nations are flying to Azerbaijan to fight from May 1st – 4th for the 2014 European Championships title.

Today is the final registration and accreditation day for a host of world and Olympic champions all fighting on the road to the Rio Olympic Games. The full event will be broadcast live in HD.

“Baku and the sport of Taekwondo go a long way back. In 2004, we started building a tradition, when the European Qualification Tournament for Summer Olympic Games Athens 2004 was hosted in the city, which continues until today, creating a long lasting history of sports excellence and evolution. We placed a bet on the success of these championships for the whole world to see how high we raised the standards. Our next appointment is set in 2105 with the European Games, incorporating the Olympic sport of Taekwondo in their agenda”, said the ETU President, Athanasios Pragalos.

Vice President of Azerbaijan Taekwondo Federation Naghi Safarov added “It is a great honor for Azerbaijan and Baku to welcome events of such magnitude. The city of Baku is changing fast, turning into a hub of sporting activity and innovation. It is of pivotal importance that the European and the World Taekwondo Federation have placed their trust in us and our ability, once again, to deliver the best European Taekwondo Senior Championships. We welcome you all in the “Land of Fire” and we are set in what should be outstanding Championships”.

The World Taekwondo President Dr. Choue Chongwon commented “ Azerbaijan is a very valued member of the Taekwondo family and one of the most experienced in hosting major Taekwondo events. In 2005 the WTF sanctioned the first designated Taekwondo training center here in Baku and it was also a proud host of the first everworld Para Taekwondo Championships. Finally the WTF service of youth development will be seen in the inaugural World Cadet championships in July”

The Official Press Conference will be held in the Kempinski Badamdar Hotel on Wednesday the 30th at 15:00 followed by the Opening Ceremony on the same day at 18:00 at the Sarhadchi Sports & Olympic Complex. 

European Senior Taekwondo Championships 2014 - Baku, Azerbaijan



TAEKWONDO IN AZERBAIJAN:

The beautiful city of Baku will host the upcoming European Taekwondo Senior Championships from the 1st until the 4th of May. An estimated 400-500 athletes from approximately 42 countries will take part in the Championship. Please join us in this incredible sports’ trip, which will have live transmission via EBU and Eurovision Network for the first time in the history of ETU.

GEOGRAPHY:

Baku city is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region.

Baku is located 28 meters (92 ft) below sea level which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world. Baku is also the largest city in the world located below sea level. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal parts: the downtown area and the old Inner City Icheri Sheher (21.5 ha)

ETHYMOLOGY:

The name “Baku” is widely believed to be derived from the old Persian name of the city Bad-kube, meaning "Wind-pounded city"

CLIMATE:

Baku has a subtropical semi-arid climate with warm and dry summers, cool and occasionally wet winters, and strong winds all year long. However, unlike many other cities with this climate, Baku does not see extremely hot summers. This is largely because of its northerly latitude and the fact that it is located on a peninsula on the shore of the Caspian Sea. Baku and the Absheron Peninsula on which it is situated, is the most arid part of Azerbaijan.

At the same time Baku is noted as a very windy city throughout the year, hence the city's nickname the "City of Winds", and gale-force winds, the cold northern wind "khazri" and the warm southern wind "gilavar" are typical here in all seasons. Indeed, the city is renowned for its fierce winter snow storms and harsh winds.

TOURISM, CULTURE and ARCHITECTURE

Baku is one of the most important tourist destinations in the Caucasus. Many sizable world hotel chains have a presence in the city. Baku has many popular tourist and entertainment spots, such as the downtown Fountains Square, Baku’s vicinities feature Yanar Dag, an ever-blazing spot of natural gas. On 2 September 2010, with the inauguration of National Flag Square, Baku became home to the world's tallest flagpole, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

The city has many beach indemnities, as the city is surrounded by Caspian Sea from north, south and east. The city has many amenities that offer a wide range of cultural activities, drawing both from a rich local dramatic portfolio and an international repertoire. It also boasts many museums such as Baku Museum of Modern Art and Azerbaijan State Museum of History.

The city is the scientific, cultural and industrial center of Azerbaijan.

Baku has widely varying architecture, ranging from the Old City core to modern buildings and the spacious layout of the Baku port. Many of the city's most impressive buildings were built during the early 20th Century, when architectural elements of the European styles were combined in eclectic style. Baku, thus, has an original and unique appearance, earning it a reputation as the 'Paris of the East'.

Baku Boulevard granted officially the status of National Park, is a pedestrian promenade that runs parallel to Baku's seafront. The park is popular with dog-walkers and joggers, and is convenient for tourists.

Baku was the host-city for The Eurovision Song Contest-2012 . The contest was held in newly built grandiose “Chrystal Hall”.

NIGHTLIFE:

Baku boasts a vibrant nightlife. Many clubs that are open until dawn can be found throughout the city. Clubs with an eastern flavor provide special treats from the cuisine of Azerbaijan along with local music. Western-style clubs target younger, more energetic crowds. Most of the public houses and bars are located near Fountains Square and are usually open until the early hours of the morning.

Baku is home to restaurants catering to every cuisine and occasion. Restaurants range from luxurious and expensive to ordinary and affordable.

SPORTS EVENTS:

Baku City has hosted many different sports events in size and level for the last 15 years. Therefore many sports facilities were built in last decade period in Baku, as a part of sports policy of Azerbaijan.

The modern sports complexes existing in Baku, such as “Heydar Aliyev Sports, Concert and Exhibition Complex”, “The Palace of Indoor Games”, “Tofig Bahramov Football Stadium”, “Dalga Arena”, “Bakcell Arena”, “Sarhadchi Olympic Complex”, etc. were the places for many international tournaments such as “FIFA U-17 Women World Cup”, “Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships 2007 and 2009”, “World Rhythmic Gimnastics Championships-2005”, “FILA- Wrestling World Championships-2007”, “European Wrestling Championships-2010”, “World Amateur Boxing Championships-2011”.

In 2013, Baku City was selected as a hosting city for the First European Games 2015 and Islamic Solidarity Games-2017.

Baku city was the bidding candidate for Summer Olympic Games-2016 and 2020.

TAEKWONDO EVENTS:

Baku hosted and will host several important Taekwondo events during the past decade. They are as follows:

  • 2004 – European Qualification Tournament for Summer Olympic Games-2004 in Athens
  • 2005 – European Junior Taekwondo Championships
  • 2007 – European Junior Taekwondo Championships
  • 2009 – World Cup (Team Championships) and 1st World Para-Taekwondo Championships
  • 2010 – European Team Championships
  • 2011 – Selection Training and Examination Camp of International Referees for LOG-2012
  • 2011 – WTF World Qualification Tournament for LOG-2012
  • 2012 – Olympic Referee Training Camp 1 for LOG-2012
  • 2014 – ETU European Senior Championships
  • 2014 – WTF World Cadet Championships