The press service of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has talked with Rhythmic Gymnastics team of Italy, which was taking part in the training camp at Milli Gimnastika Arenası (MGA, National Gymnastics Arena) recently. Team’s leader Anna-Maria Zangrilli, coaches Sandra Veronese, Francesca Voce and Consuelo Manfreda shared their impressions about Azerbaijan and the conditions at MGA.
1. Is it your first visit to Azerbaijan? What is your impression about the country?
F. Voce: For some of us, this is the first visit to Azerbaijan. We were very surprised by beauty and development level of the country. One of our coaches – Sandra was here twice before. Every time after her visit to Baku, she expresses her astonishment with the changes and progress she notices in the city. This time she is happy to be here again and see how everything is advancing.
2. Did you have chance to see the city?
A. Zangrilli: Yes, we walked around the city. We were impressed by the new modern buildings everywhere. I think in ten years Baku will look like New York. The impression about your buildings is that they are not identical like in other cities. And the lighting at nights is amazing, as well.
F. Voce: We visited Inner City, Maiden Tower and Boulevard. We really enjoyed the Boulevard. We also had a chance to see Contemporary Art Museum.
3. What do you think about MGA? How do you find it?
A. Zangrilli: We like everything at this arena. Everything here is well-organized, you have all conditions inside. In addition, we are very surprised by the number of the coaches involved in the training process. They are coming each day with new energy. The training process is also different from that I have seen in other countries. We feel here at home. The whole federation is like a big family. It is very important , as it helps gymnasts a lot in growing their career. You have to be proud of this. You cannot often see this in other parts of the world.
S. Veronese: I was at training camp in many countries but I have not seen such a facility anywhere. I cannot compare your arena with other facilities. The organization is at a high level. For example, in Italy we do not have such conditions.
4. What is your opinion about our gymnastics team?
A. Zangrilli: They are very well prepared and exactly know what must be done. They willingly help us here. It is just amazing to see this work around.
What is very nice to see is that Head coach of the Azerbaijani Rhythmic Gymnastics National Team Mariana Vasileva finds time to deal with everybody: with groups, individual gymnasts. I do not know how she manages it (smiles). I have to say that she is very genius. I feel that your gymnasts are happy to do gymnastics as their coaches not only train them but treat them with respect and love. This is an impression that I received from the trainings here. I think that in future you will have more chances to win the first places.
5. How many gymnasts came to Baku with you?
S. Veronese: We came here with four gymnasts. One of them is a senior and the others are junior gymnasts. For me, the difficulty elements are one of the important parts of the performance. The way of execution and choreography are also essential. We plan to come back to Baku to training camp next year as well. In a week, we can see the improvement in their performance.
6. What can you say about the performance of Azerbaijani gymnast Marina Durunda at Rio-2016 Olympic Games?
S. Veronese: Marina had very good exercises, especially, the music part of the program and the choreography was really beautiful. I expected she would take better place in the final.