The European Youth Olympic Trials (EYOT) started in Baku on May 30th as part of preparations for the Baku 2015 European Games.
The three-day event has brought together more than 700 best athletes from Europe who will fight for gold at the Tofig Bahramov Stadium.
Athletes on an average age of 16 and 17 years will compete in 36 events to secure a place at the Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing, China in August, 2014.
The newly-built Baku 2015 Athletes Village will accommodate the competitors. This will be a test for the complex ahead of next summer's inaugural European Games.
Prior to the event, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sports and Chief Executive Officer of Baku European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC), Azad Rahimov warmly welcomed all the aspiring young athletes participating at the EYOT.
"The European Youth Olympic Trials is a wonderful event that presents a great opportunity to us to test our services ahead of next year's European Games," he said.
Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015 Simon Clegg said every faculty that will host competition at the European Games will be tested thoroughly before next summer.
"The opportunity to have competitors in the Athletes Village is an important moment for us as we are preparing to host more than 6,000 athletes there during next summer's Games," Clegg said. "Initial feedback on the Athletes Village from competitors staying there has been excellent and we are delighted to be able to offer such world-class facilities to all of our guests."
For his part, President of the Azerbaijan Athletics Federation Chingiz Huseynzade said it is an honor to host the European Youth Olympic Trials are underway here in Azerbaijan and everyone at the Local Organizing Committee is proud to welcome the best young athletes from Europe to Baku.
"We have worked hard, with the assistance of our colleagues at BEGOC, to hold a memorable and successful athletics event," he added.
Morning sessions at EYOT started at 9.30am on May 30. Afternoon sessions started at 3.00 pm on May 30. It will resume at 3.30pm on May 31. There will be no morning session on June 1, but the afternoon session will start at 2.00 pm.
Baku 2015, Europe's first senior multi-sport event, will bring together more than 6,000 athletes from the 49 countries affiliated to the European Olympic Committees. They will compete in 19 sports in Baku on June 12-28.