Baku 2019 kicked off with lively ceremony


 The 15th edition of the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival is under way after a vibrant Opening Ceremony brought the weeklong multi-sport event for athletes aged 14-18 to life Sunday night at the Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan.


Among the honoured guests attending the Ceremony were Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, First Vice President Mehrban Aliyeva and European Olympic Committees (EOC) President Janez Kocijančič.

The introduction of the flag of Azerbaijan was followed by the parade of nations, which featured athletes from the 48 European National Olympic Committees competing at Baku 2019 and EOC refugee athlete Nazret Kobodom, a 16-year-old Eritrean runner currently seeking asylum in Israel who will compete in the Girls’ 3 000m.

Estonian flag bearer was judoka Karl Tani Priilinn-Türk. 16-year-old Priilinn-Türk (Aitado club, student of Tallinn Secondary Science School), who is competing in judo -90kg, took 5th place in the Cadet European Judo Championships this year and has won two silver medals from Cadet European Cup.

"I am definitely happy and honoured that I was chosen as a flag bearer and it is great that my results have been noticed. At the same time I am a little nervous. I hope that I am able to wrestle worthy of the honour of being a flag bearer.  

The festival will be attended by 3,900 athletes from 48 European countries. 52 percent of the participants are males, and 48 ​​percent are females. Athletes will compete for 135 sets of medals. A total of 930 medals are prepared for the winners, including 300 gold, 300 silver and 330 bronze medals.

Athletes will compete in ten kinds of sports - gymnastics, athletics, basketball, cycling, handball, judo, swimming, tennis, volleyball and wrestling. 

Estonian tennis players were already competing before the opening ceremony: in boys singles round of 64 Andreas Sillaste defeated Patrik Jurina (CRO) 7:5, 6:2, Erko Nigula defeated Artur Yurkevich (BLR) 3:6, 6:3, 10:6. In girls singles round of 64, Liisa Varul defeated 6:0, 6:4 Mafalda Guedes (POR), Elisabeth Iila lost to Matilde Morais (POR) 2:6, 3:6.