Welcome to Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships – Baku – 2009
The 25th Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships was opened on May 15, 2009 in Baku, Azerbaijan in the Heydar Aliyev Sports-Concert Complex and ended on May 17.
186 gymnasts from 32 countries were scheduled to participate.
The Head of the European Union of Gymnastics Dimitrios Dimitropulos said at an official opening ceremony that "the championship has been organized in line with high standards."
1st Place - Gold - Russia
2nd Place - Silver - Azerbaijan
3rd Place - Bronze - Ukraine
History of Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships
The first European Championships in rhythmic gymnastics took place in Madrid, Spain on November 10-12, 1978. Soviet gymnast Galima Shugurova became the first overall champion at that time. After her, other gymnasts from USSR and Bulgaria, Russia and Ukraine, as well as Azerbaijan became the best rhythmic gymnasts of Europe.
A champion of the Olympic Games (Athens 2004) Alina Kabayeva is the record-breaker according to the quantity of gold medals won – 5 times!
The present European champion is another Russian gymnast, the winner of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, Yevgeniya Kanayeva.
What is Rhythmic gymnastics?
Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport in which individuals or groups of five manipulate one or two pieces of apparatus: rope, hoop, ball, clubs, ribbon and freehand (no apparatus). Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport that combines elements of ballet, gymnastics, dance, and apparatus manipulation. The victor is the participant who earns the most points, determined by a panel of judges, for leaps, balances, pirouettes (pivots), apparatus handling, and execution. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances (a certain number is required depending on the gymnast's level) and flexibility movements. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.
The sport is governed by the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), which designs the Code of Points and regulates all aspects of international elite competition. The largest events in the sport are the Olympic Games, World Championships, European Championships, World Cup and Grand-Prix Series.
How to start and what to wear
Competition leotards are long-sleeved, but most gyms allow gymnasts to practice in short-sleeved or sleeveless leotards. Bike shorts or other tight-fitting shorts are also generally allowed during practice. Some gyms allow girls to wear a tightly fitted t-shirt or tank top over the leotard, while others do not.
For competitions, male gymnasts wear two layers of clothing. The first, a singlet (or comp shirt, short for competition shirt) is a sleeveless leotard. For floor and vault, gymnasts wear a pair of very short shorts over the singlet.
But while training, you do not need to wear competition kit. For example, a simple set of leggings and a loose fitting t-shirt will be fine.
A decent safety mattress is also essential.
We have found Amazon has a nice selection of gymnastic shoes for girls.
But a really nice option is a pair of barefoot shoes.