Silhouette Gym Aerobic Large BakuPurpleTaking place over seven days from June 15 to 21, so slap-bang in the middle of the inaugural European Games, the gymnastics competition at Baku 2015 is set to be a major spectacle bringing wide-ranging ramifications for one of the most popular Olympic sports.

This is because, for the first time ever, all five gymnastics disciplines will be showcased simultaneously in the same hall at the same time in the brand-new National Gymnastics Arena close to the Athletes' Village in Baku.

As well as the established trio of artistic, rhythmic and trampoline events - which have featured at every Games since Amsterdam 1928, Los Angeles 1984 and Sydney 2000 respectively - the non-Olympic disciplines of aerobics and acrobatics will also feature. In acrobatics, gymnasts work together and perform routines consisting of acrobatic moves and dance and tumbling, while in aerobics, they perform continuously complex and high-intensity movement patterns to music.

The European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) claimed that Baku 2015 will be a "true festival" that will show how the sport can be "innovating, dynamic, and in phase with its time".

This is because in a programme alternating the disciplines and categories, artistic finals on June 19 will be followed by individual trampoline finals, aerobic finals and finally trampoline synchro finals the next day. Individual and group competitions in rhythmic gymnasts, as well as acrobatic finals, will then take place on a final day of action on June 21.

"We are rewriting the history of gymnastics," claimed UEG President Georges Guelzec.

"We will present our disciplines in a dynamic, modern and spectacular way which will correspond to the expectations of the 6,000 spectators which will be expected each day in the new hall in Baku which was specially built for this event."

Acrobatics and aerobics will feature alongside the three established Olympic disciplines in Baku ©Getty ImagesAcrobatics and aerobics will feature alongside the three established Olympic disciplines in Baku ©Getty Images

It is hoped that, if this pioneering event proves successful, it will boost the chances of acrobatics and aerobics being added to a larger Olympic gymnastics programme at some point in the future.

Gymnastics has already played a pioneering role in preparations for the Games, and in May, aerobics and trampolining provided the very first quota places across any sport for Baku 2015. In total, 120 places were distributed to 22 different National Olympic Committees across the continent, with Georgia the first to confirm their acceptance.

Following European Championships in the other three disciplines in recent months, more qualification places have now been added, with 40 NOCs having now received almost 300 quota places.

With European nations always having figured prominently in Olympic gymnastics, the standard is set to be particularly high in Baku. The likes of Russia, Romania, Belarus and Bulgaria will be hoping to lead the way, although a strong western European challenge will also come from the likes of Italy, France and Great Britain.

Unlike in many other sports, there will be no qualification spots for Rio 2016 available in Baku, although it is still hoped the best athletes on the continent will compete.

As for the host nation, although gymnastics is not one of Azerbaijan's strongest sports, they are certainly a rising power. This is particularly so in rhythmic events, where the nation won a silver medal in the balls and ribbons group event, held last month in the very same National Gymnastics Arena in Baku where events will take place next year.

Azerbaijani rhythmic gymnasts will be hoping to perform well on home turf in Baku ©Getty ImagesAzerbaijani rhythmic gymnasts will be hoping to perform well on home turf in Baku
©Getty Images

It will be hoped that another chance to compete on home turf will galvanise the team in pursuit of more long-term success on the road to Rio 2016.

One final attraction of the gymnastics competition is provided by the fact the head of the Organising Committee for Baku 2015, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, has also served as President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation since 2002 and has played a key role in bringing various international events in the sport to the city.

So with a royal presence, as well as an innovative programme and an iconic new venue, the gymnastics competition should be a sporting highlight as a top-class field bounce, vault and swing themselves to pioneering success.

More Baku 2015 sports