By Duncan Mackay

Rhythmic Gymnastics London 2012May 10 - Baku has been awarded the 2019 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, it was announced today. 

The decision to give the event - which will be a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Olympics - to the Azerbaijani capital was taken by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) during a meeting of its ruling Council in Liverpool today. 

Baku had previously held the event in 2005, when the individual all-round champion was Russia's Olga Kapranova. 

The city had already been chosen to host the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in 2014.

It is currently building a spectacular new National Gymnastics Arena, which will host both championships, as well as the gymnastics events due to feature in the inaugural European Games, being held in Baku in 2015. 

National Gymnastics Arena BakuA new National Gymnastics Arena is being built in Baku to host major events, including the 2019 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships, which it has just been awarded by FIG

Farid Gaibov, secretary general of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF), is looking forward to welcoming back the World Championships, as he has fond memories of the event in 2005. 

"That was the first World Cup of an Olympic sport held in our country at a high organisational level," he said.

"Then, Baku hosted the European Championships in 2007 and 2009.

"In 2014, Baku will open the new National Gymnastics Arena for the next European Championship."

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