Azerbaijani gymnasts won 12 medals, including nine gold medals, at an international tournament in the Estonian city of Tartu.
The team, which included seniors like Marina Durunda, Gulsum Shafizade and Nulifer Niftaliyeva, juniors Zuleikha Ismailova, Jala Pirieva and Beyza Demir, as well as juniors like Sabina Abbasova, Siyana Vasileva, Aliya Pashayeva, Diana Doman, Alexandra Platonova and Aynur Mustafaeva, represented Azerbaijan at the FIG Rhythmic Gymnastics International Tournament Miss Valentine, which was held on February 7-9.
Marina Durunda did not remain without attention of judges and audience. Several times she became first-place medalist after the final performances with the hoop, maces and ribbon. According to the tournament format, Durunda could only participate in three finals, and in all of them she won "gold."
Other athletes, including Sabina Abbasova, Siyana Vasileva, Aliya Pashayeva, Diana Doman, Alexandra Platonov and Aynur Mustafayeva were the best in all-around, and then repeated their success in the finals with three balls and two ribbons.
Reserve of the national team again pleased with its performance. Thus, 14-year-old Jala Piriyeva won two gold medals for exercises with hoop, and her contemporary Zuleikha Ismayilova won the highest awards for exercises with maces and ribbon.
Head coach of the national team Mariana Vasileva remained satisfied with the results and performance of the team.
"Most importantly, everyone stayed satisfied with the new program, the public received them very warmly," she said. "Girls performed all set tasks. We continue to work on, and I think with even more enthusiasm. I am glad with the debut of new judges Anastasia Prasolova and Yevgeniya Zhidkova, who also made a good impression."
The same team will travel to Budapest for another international tournament in 9 days, and those, who want to get to the national team should perform at the qualifying tournament Alina Cup 2014, to be held in Russia.
Miss Valentine is the biggest international gymnastics tournament in Estonia. This year's event is the 20th tournament in a row. It is the most popular gymnastics competitions worldwide because of long traditions and great atmosphere. The 20th Miss Valentine tournament will bring to Estonia more than 1000 gymnasts from all over the world.
Azerbaijani gymnasts have set brilliant records during 2013 games winning 85 medals at various sports events. The most important title of the Olympic cycle was a silver medal won in the final of the European Championship in Vienna by the junior group team, consisted of Nilufar Niftalyeva, Gulsum Shafizade, Sabina Gummatova, Alexandra Platonova, Emilia Bagiyeva, and Aynur Mustafayeva.