The Azerbaijan State News Agency

OFFICIAL NEWS

MODERN SHOOTING STAND INAUGURATED IN BAKU

PRIME MINISTER OF AZERBAIJAN ILHAM ALIYEV ATTENDED THE OPENING CEREMONY

A new sports complex - the first Shooting Stand was commissioned in the Binagadi district of Baku, 8 October.

Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev attended the opening ceremony.

Tens of thousands people gathered in the opening ceremony of the Sports Complex, warmly greeted head of the Azerbaijan government, presented him bunch of flowers.

The Prime Minister was informed that equipment for the Shooting Stand was delivered from the European countries on order of the National Olympic Committee, and was installed by the Finland’s “Nastakeyko Oy” Company. The Complex will promote preparation of high-level sportsmen in the Republic.

Minister of youth, sports and tourism Abulfaz Garayev opened the ceremony. He, in particular, stressed that last years Azerbaijan sports has acquired a high level. Development of sports in the country is the result of care and attention of President Heydar Aliyev. Mr. President always has taken care of sports in the Republic, attached great importance to this field.

The newly inaugurated sports complex is also a gift of Mr. President to the Azerbaijani youth, the Minister underlined.

After bright triumphs in Sydney Olympic in 2000, the President met with the Olympic medallists. Among them was Zemfira Mefthaddinoiva, who won the gold medal in Sydney. President of Azerbaijan assigned Cabinet of Ministers to build a Shooting Stand in the Republic. Now, the Complex is ready, Mr. Garayev said.

The Minister also recalled inauguration of the Yacht Club, Olympic Complex in Barda region, emphasizing that such sports installations were commissioned in other regions of the Republic.

Expansion of the Olympic Movements in Azerbaijan is connected with the name Mr. Ilham Aliyev, who was elected as a President of the National Olympic Committee in 1997. In a short period, there was established close links with between NOC of Azerbaijan and international sports organizations, which gave their consent to host international tournaments and Championships in Baku.

Taking the opportunity, the Minister expressed his gratitude to the constructers of the Complex. He also expressed deep and cordial gratitude to head of the Azerbaijani state, Mr. President Heydar Aliyev, Prime Minister, chairman of the National Olympic Committee Ilham Aliyev.

Speaking was at the opening ceremony, chief coach of the national shooting team Hafiz Jafarov, Olympic Champion on shooting in Sydney Zemfira Mefthaddinova, who expressed their gratitude for care and attention for sports in the Republic.

***

Then, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev addressed participants of the ceremony. He said:

“Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Dear sportsmen,

Dear friends,

I congratulate all of you with the opening of this remarkable complex. Sports are in success in Azerbaijan. Sportsmen of the Republic worthily represent Azerbaijan on international contests. Sportsmen of Azerbaijan show high results at the world, European, Olympic competitions. We have high results in the shooting stand as well.

Zemfira Mefthaddinova became Champion of the Sydney Summer Olympic on this kind of sport. Besides, she has won World Cup and world recorder. We are certain she will worthily represent the Republic at the 2004 Summer Olympic in Athens.

Azerbaijani sportsmen engaged in shooting stand had no facilities to train. They had trainings abroad. Therefore, on the initiative of the National Olympic Committee, such a beautiful complex was built. The complex will be open for residents of Baku as well.

Number of the sports complex increases in the Republic. We have commissioned several other sports installations in numerous regions of the country. I am pleased that National Federations have joined our initiatives and erect such facilities. Power lifting Federation, Volleyball Federation, Handball Federation, Field Hockey Federation, Taekwando Federation have recently built relevant complexes for themselves. And all of them meet modern standards.

This new complex has been built by high-level specialists and companies. We have certain construction experience in this field.

This Complex is a joint construction of the National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Youth, Sports and Tourism. It was equipped by modern installations. This shows that there is business solidarity and cooperation among the constructor companies in Azerbaijan. We all act as a single team. And, I am sure that in the result of such joint work we have achieved bright victories.

We are very keen in conduction of international contests in Azerbaijan. Several world contests have been hosted in Baku. World, European Champs, qualification contests for the Athens Olympic are to be held in Azerbaijan as well. Three license tournaments are to be held in Azerbaijan. These are box, volleyball and taekwando tournaments. We have already made our proposals. Perhaps, our sportsmen will worthily represent the Republic in the 2004 Summer Olympic in Athens.

Sport is an internal part of our society. Sports develops where rules stability, development and prosperity. They are in Azerbaijan thanks to President Heydar Aliyev. Just due to his policy, we have stability in the Country. Stability enables us to engage in sports.

This is a great event. Sports are attribute of the country. It reflects our independence. I am looking forward to the coming Olympic contests. I am optimist. I know our Champions will compete for gold medals. Azerbaijan will develop. This question is always in our focus. This is significant from all points of view. This means a new healthy generation.

Azerbaijan is of those countries that rely on its cadres. We have now strong sportsmen. In several years, they will back honor of Azerbaijani sports on the international arena.

I am certain that our sportsmen will continue successful achievement of Zemfira Meftahaddinova. She is, indeed, a bright sportswoman. And her coach, Hafiz Jafarov, who was well known in the former USSR and coach of the national team, is a great master. He was invited to foreign countries. I am very glad he remained in Azerbaijan and we gained the first gold medal in this kind of sport.

I am thankful to our sportsmen and I know they will gain new and new triumphs. They back the policy National Olympic Committee is realizing. It is very important for us.

Dear sportsmen,

Dear residents of Binagadi district,

I once again congratulate all of you with the opening of such a beautiful building, and wish you health, new successes. Thank you.

Then, the Prime Minister cut the red ribbon. Head of the Azerbaijani Government toured the complex and acquainted with object.

The Prime Minister and other guests watched trainings of the Olympic Champion Zemfira Meftahaddinova and master of sport Emin Jafarov.

Head of the Administration of Azerbaijan President Ramiz Mehdiyev, First Deputy Prime Minister Artur Rasizade, ministers, heads of departments and companies, MPs, foreign ambassadors and other officials attended the ceremony.

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