Baku Celebrates "Astounding" Progress with One Month to European Games

(ATR) Progress for the European Games in Baku is "nothing short of astounding," Baku 2015 COO Simon Clegg says.

(ATR)Progress for the inaugural European Games in Baku is "nothing short of astounding," Baku 2015 COO Simon Clegg says.

"Most Olympic host cities get seven years to prepare for their Games. Here in Baku we have had just 30 months to deliver the most important new sporting event in the international calendar for almost half a century."

The Azerbaijani capital celebrated exactly one month to go until the 2015 European Games on Tuesday.

"One month to go is the latest milestone on the incredible journey of Baku 2015, the sporting community of Azerbaijan, and the European Games as a concept for sport in our continent," Clegg added in a statement.

Baku 2015 organizers say some 7,000 athletes from 50 NOCs will compete in 20 sports at the inaugural European Games, June 12-28.

"There is still work to be done - we all know that - and I have always said that we will need every minute of every day of the 30 months we were given," Clegg said.

"When Baku was announced as the host city for the European Games, there was no blueprint to pull off the shelf, no long-term broadcast deals and no commercial partners.

"Today, we have 18 world-class venues, broadcast agreements in place covering not only Europe but the whole globe, and the support of eight outstanding official partners and 11 official supporters."

On Tuesday, in the backdrop of celebrations marking the one-month countdown,the flame of the European Games made its way through the city of Zardab.

During this time, torchbearers also carried the flame through the district of Terter.

In all, the flame will travel more than 3,400 miles through 60 regions of Azerbaijan before the cauldron is lit at the opening ceremony.

Over 1,000 torchbearers will carry the flame across the breadth of the country, coming within an hour's traveling time of 99 percent of the population.

"The journey of the flame around Azerbaijan's 60 regions continues to build excitement and anticipation as we head towards the start of the Games," Clegg said.

"Baku 2015 will be a defining moment for our host country as well as for our athletes.

"Everything is now in place for an unforgettable summer of top-level competition, and I have no doubt that we will put on a show to make the whole continent proud."

Written byNicole Bennett

Homepage photo:Baku 2015/Instagram

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