Europe’s best young athletes shining bright as EYOF Baku 2019 hits midway mark
24 July 2019
At the halfway point of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) Baku 2019, Europe’s best young athletes are keeping their momentum high.
After 4 days of competition, the Russian Federation is topping the overall medal table with 29 medals (10 gold, 8 silver, 11 bronze), followed by Azerbaijan with 19 medals (9 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze) and Turkey with 14 medals (6 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze).
Today also marks the milestone 1-year-to-go to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the European Olympic Committees (EOC) is hopeful that some of the athletes competing this week in Baku will also go on to show their talent in the Japanese capital next summer.
Over 2,700 athletes aged 14 to 18 (48% of whom are girls) are competing at Baku 2019 and are being assisted by over 1,200 team officials and 3,500 volunteers. Meanwhile, 345 accredited media from around the world are covering the event.
Thirty-one of the 48 participating National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have won at least one medal as of today, with 182 of the 946 overall medals having already being presented to the winning athletes so far.
EOC Coordination Commission Chair Djordje Visacki gave his mid-games overview: “Like at any Games, the first days are the most challenging both for the Organising Committee as well as for us in the Coordination Commission. However, the EYOF is well underway now, everything is going in the right direction and I am sure [when it is all over] we will have organised one more great event here in Baku after the European Games 2015.”
“I personally believe that one of the successes of this edition are the venues,” he added. “Along with the organisers, we have managed to provide the athletes with a very high standard of facilities and, as a former athlete, I can say this is very important. They are going to carry this with them as a good memory from Baku.”
The 12 competition venues, all of which already existed prior to Baku becoming host of the continent’s premier multi-sports event for athletes aged 14 to 18, make this edition of the EYOF one of the most sustainable.
All 10 sports on the programme are included in the Olympic Games, with team sports in volleyball, basketball and handball. The EOC is in discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ensure that the sports that make up the EYOF programme will feature at the Youth Olympic Games and offer qualification opportunities, where possible.
Over 6,000 people attended the spectacular Opening Ceremony at the Crystal Hall in downtown Baku, and it was also livestreamed to audiences around the world on the brand new EOC Channel.
Twelve streaming platforms have been made available, attracting an audience of 30,000 users from over 140 countries and 50,000 views (on the EOC Channel and YouTube) to date.