Lankaran, April 30, AZERTAC
Lankaran, Azerbaijan’s fourth largest city, today became the second destination for the inaugural European Games Journey of the Flame, bringing the spirit of the Baku Games across Azerbaijan.
The torch was transported from Nakhchivan on board a special charter flight to the southern Azerbaijani city. The official convoy received a rapturous welcome from local residents upon arrival at the airport.
Parvin Gasimzade (Former Junior World, European Champion) was the first of 12 torchbearers who carried the flame. Beginning at the Heydar Aliyev Square, this afternoon, the flame was then passed to Nazim Gulamov (Boxing coach / teacher) and on it went to Baba Rzayev (Sport Master of USSR freestyle wrestling), Mammad Mammadov (Sport Master of USSR weightlifting), Aziz Guliyev (Boxing Coach), Ali Agayev (Greco Roman Wrestling Coach), Elnur Hajiyev (Boxing Coach), Togrul Mammadli (National Weightlifting
Champion), Sirus Hasanli (Chess Candidate Master), Jeyhun Mammadov (FIDA Master, Chess) and Vugar Sultanov (Taekwondo and Greco Roman Wrestling Coach. Malahat Tagiyeva (Track & Field teacher) was the day’s final torchbearer and carried the flame into the Heydar Aliyev Park.
Local residents were treated to a spectacular Festival of Fire, a free evening event bringing together thousands of people to be part of the festivities, which included a specially created Fire Show.
The city of Lankaran is a fitting destination for the second Journey of the Flame given its rich sporting culture. A showpiece venue, the Lankaran Olympic Sports Complex was built in 2003, and has hosted some significant events during its time, including the European Cup in weightlifting. It also boasts a FIFA standard 15,000-capacity football venue, the Lankaran City Stadium. Among the main matches played here were the FIFA World Cup qualifier between Azerbaijan and Finland, plus group games for the 2012 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.