Baku 2015: What are the European Games?

04 March 2015 / 12:33

We’re just 100 days away from the start of the first ever European Games at Baku 2015 and here’s our profile of the event which is set to welcome over 150 Team GB athletes this summer.

Where is Baku?

Located on the eastern edge of Azerbaijan and overlooking the Caspian Sea, Baku sits on the edge of Europe and lies almost 2,500 miles from the Olympic Stadium in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

What are the European Games?

Baku 2015 is the inaugral European Games. It represents the continent’s first ever major multi-sport Games and follows in the footsteps of similar events such as the Asian Games and the Pan Am Games.

The Azerbaijani capital won the right to host the event in December 2012, with the European Games set to take place every four years. A host city for 2019 is yet to be decided upon.

Over 6,000 athletes from 50 European nations will be in action across the 16 days of competition and all bidding to win one of the 253 gold medals on offer as well as the title of the first ever European Champion.

When is Baku 2015?

The Opening Ceremony is set for Friday June 12th, with the 16 days of competitive action beginning the morning after. The final medals will be handed out on Sunday June 28th before that evening’s Closing Ceremony concludes the Games.

What sports will in be action?

In total, 20 sports will make up the programme for Baku 2015 with a huge range on offer, including some of the more established Olympic sports in athletics, boxing and gymnastics right through karate, beach soccer and 3v3 basketball.

Team GB will compete in 14 sports and are set to welcome athletes from the non-Olympic disciplines of aerobic and acrobatic gymanstics, as well as karate, for the first time.

Team GB at Baku 2015

At present 129 athletes will be part of Team GB for Baku 2015, with that number set to rise before the start of the Games.

The 14 sports and 21 disciplines that will make up the team are: aquatics (diving, swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo), archery, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe sprint, fencing, gymnastics (aerobic, acrobatic, artistic, rhythmic and trampoline), judo, karate, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon and wrestling.

The full team announcement of all athletes will be made on April 23rd, which marks 50 days to go until the start of the Games.

What does this mean for Rio 2016?

Of Team GB’s 21 disciplines, 10 will have added significance in playing a part on the road to Rio and qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games.

These events will offer either direct qualification for certain placed athletes, the chance to achieve qualification standards or pick up ranking points, or qualfication opporutunities for the World Championships which in turn offer the chance to secure a place at Rio 2016.

The Rio 2016 qualification disciplines for Team GB in Baku are: swimming, archery, beach volleyball, boxing, judo, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon and wrestling.