By Daniel Etchells
"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me...and I'm feeling good." European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) President Georges Guelzec would be forgiven for having the classic Nina Simone lyrics running through his head on his departure from Baku, following a hugely successful test event for the 2015 European Games, which could signal the start of something special for the sport that the Frenchman holds so dearly to his heart.
For the first time in the history of gymnastics all five disciplines, or six depending on whether you choose to distinguish between the men's and women's artistic forms, were showcased simultaneously in the same hall, Azerbaijan's National Gymnastics Arena, with the format set to be incorporated at the inaugural edition of the continental Games in June.
The "Baku Prepares" Open Joint Azerbaijan Championship provided the first opportunity for the UEG to trial its new concept of presenting the Olympic disciplines of artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, which have featured at every Olympic Games since Amsterdam 1928, Los Angeles 1984 and Sydney 2000 respectively, alongside the non-Olympic disciplines of aerobics and acrobatics.