Azerbaijani athletes won eight medals, including four gold medals, during the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Tournament for the Prize of Queen Margarita, which was held in Bulgaria, December 13-14.
Azerbaijan was represented by senior athletes Gulsum Shafizade, Nilufer Niftaliyeva, Ayshan Bayramova. Among the junior gymnasts were Zuleikha Ismailova, Jala Piriyeva, Laman Hajizade, Beyza Demir and junior group team, consisting of Janet Mammadova, sisters Sabina and Samira Aliyeva, Emilia Bagieva and Sabina Gummatova.
The country's delegation was led by head coach Mariana Vasileva and her assistants Yasena Kuyumdzhieva, Anastasia Prasolova and Jala Garatova. Natalia Bulanova represented Azerbaijan in the jury.
Nilufer Niftaliyeva got the largest number of awards, winning exercises with hoop and juggling clubs, as well as was named the best in all-around.
Another Azerbaijani athlete Gulsum Shafizade won the gold, winning the last exercise with the ribbon. Moreover, junior group team won three medals at the tournament. The team performed with 5 pairs of juggling clubs and took the second place, while a demonstration exercise with 5 hoops and all-around led the girls on the third line.
"We took a chance to show our new programs on the eve of the outgoing year, and I heard different opinions about them, both from professionals and amateurs," head coach of Azerbaijani team Mariana Vasileva said.
"We are pleased with the positive reviews, but of course, there are things that are need to be corrected. The next two months will be a very serious preparation before beginning of the next season, which will be culminated by the European Championships in Baku in June."
Moreover, Azerbaijani trampolinists performed well at the Slavic Games Open, which were held in Belarus December 10-16.
Azerbaijan's Ruslan Agamirov won silver completing compulsory and optional programs during the tournament.
Coach of Azerbaijan's team Igor Bogachov said the main start for his ward will be the European Championships in Portugal in April and November's World Championship in the United States.
Azerbaijani female gymnasts have brought home a clutch of 8 medals, including 4 golds from an international tournament in Varna, Bulgaria.
Competing in men’s trampoline, Azerbaijani Ruslan Aghamirov won silver medal at the Slavic Games Open in Vitebsk, Belarus.