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Boxing: Tickets for inaugural European Games (12/28 June) now on sale ONLINE and in Baku
by Michael O'Neill
March 23, 2015
     
   
   

(MAR 23)  Tickets for all sessions of the inaugural European Games went on sale earlier this week online and in Baku.

Considering the strength of boxing in Europe, tickets are by Olympic or World championship standards, ‘very reasonable’ for the overwhelming majority of the bouts inc finals.

Here on WBAN we have previously brought you news of the Games – organised by the European Olympic Committee (EOC) in conjunction with the Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) - so today some more details to help you plan your trip to Azerbaijan – or watch it on TV or Live Streaming in many parts of the world and not just Europe.

Over 6,000 athletes from the 50 National Olympic Committees of Europe will compete in 20 sports over 17 consecutive days at Baku 2015. The inaugural games will consist of 16 Olympic sports, and four non-Olympic sports.

Baku 2015 European Games has confirmed that Boxing and Wrestling at next summer’s event will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Men’s boxing only though no direct qualification it seems for the women warriors. At least there are five women’s weights in Baku unlike the 3 at the Olympics first in London 2012 and now despite encouraging words from the AIBA at London Games, still only 3 weights in Rio 2016.

Back to Baku 2015 though and some comments we have received from the organisers, European Olympic Committee.

Mr Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees, said: “I am delighted to see that the sports programme at Baku 2015 continues to move in the right direction with Boxing and Wrestling now confirmed as part of their road to Rio 2016.

“Part of the European Olympic Committees’ vision for the European Games was to create an elite competition that offered athletes increased opportunities to test themselves at the very highest level, so we are very pleased that Baku 2015 is delivering exactly that.”

Mr Simon Clegg, Baku 2015 Chief Operating Officer, said: “The fact that so many international sports federations are including the inaugural European Games as part of their Olympic Games qualification process is testament to what a top quality event we will have here in Azerbaijan.

“The European Olympic Committees and President Patrick Hickey have ensured their vision of a major multi-sport event for the entire continent will be one of great value that will see Europe’s finest athletes improve their chances of competing successfully at future Olympic Games.”

International Sports Broadcasting (ISB) will provide in excess of 1,200 hours of coverage (all sports included) from Baku and to many continents including the Americas.

Pat Hickey again: "This is very positive news, not only for the inaugural European Games in Baku in 2015 but also for the long-term sustainability of the European Games," EOC President Patrick Hickey said. "It shows that the European Games is a viable product that can command significant TV audiences, in Europe and around the world. In turn, this will help attract serious commercial partners for future editions.

"Above all else, I am pleased that elite athletes in Europe will have an appropriate broadcast platform from which to showcase their talents," Hickey added.

"We have been very fortunate to broadcast many of the world's greatest events and have also had the unique opportunity to help events grow in stature," IBS chief Romero said. "We firmly believe that the European Games will be one of the world's next great sporting spectacles. We are honored to be chosen to transmit these inaugural Games to Europe and the rest of the world and to partner with Baku to showcase its dynamic and thriving culture."

There will be 15 medal events (in Boxing) in Baku, 10 men, 5 women as follows:

Women:

FlyWeight (51kg)

Bantam Weight(54kg)

Light Weight (60kg)

Light Welter (64kg)

Middle Weight (75kg)



Men:

Light Fly Weight (49kg)

Fly Weight (52kg)

Bantam Weight (56kg)

Light Weight (60kg)

Light Welter (64kg)

Welter Weight (69kg) -

Middle Weight (75kg) -

Light Heavy Weight (81kg) -

Heavy Weight (91kg) -

Super Heavy Weight (+91kg)





Just to give you an overview of who is likely to compete, subject to being nominated by their National Federation and if no injuries or illness between now and opening ceremony, we take a look at some of the competitors likely to be in action at the Crystal Halls in Baku come June.



Many are likely to be World or Olympic champions like England’s Nicola Adams and Ireland’s 5 time World champion and Olympic Gold medallist Katie Taylor.

The Bray woman has already been chosen by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) together with Ceire Smith from Cavan BC and Michaela Walsh of the Holy Family club in Belfast. No place though for Callan’s very talented Clare Grace, a selection decision not universally popular in Ireland.



Katie Taylor who claimed 60kg Gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games is the current European and World Champion in the 60kg weight division. Her medal haul at major competitions stands at 17 gold medals, including her Olympic title, five consecutive World Championships, six consecutive European Championships, and five European Union Championships, making her the most decorated athlete in the history of women’s Boxing.



No news from the ABA of England/Boxing England as to when the English team will be announced. One might normally expect Olympians Nicola Adams, Natasha Jonas and Savannah Marshall to be in that strong team but there will be others in contention like Lisa Whiteside, Chantelle Cameron, Stacey Copeland and Sandy Ryan to name but four.

Whiteside and Ryan both took silver at the 2014 World’s in Jeju, a magnificent achievement for both in their first major International championships.



A major influence could be the outcome of this year’s English ABA championships in Liverpool 24/26 April, a combined event which will feature 10 weight categories each for males and females. A big headache then for the selectors especially as there has been some fitness doubts concerning Adams and Jonas.



Russia as always will be a key player in both male and female AIBA tournaments they too will have some selection headaches to face so no guarantees that for example Sofya Ochigava will be an ‘automatic choice’ to renew her great rivalry with Ireland’s Taylor at 60kg.



The Russians may take the opportunity of introducing some of their ‘younger’ brigade such as AIBA World champion (at 64kg) Anastasia Beliakova. Others striving for a place in the power house Russian squad will include Saina Sagataeva (51kg), Elena Savelyeva (54kg), Zinaida Dobrynina (57kg), Saadat Abdulaeva (69kg), Iaroslava Iakushina (75kg), Svetlana Kosova (81kg) and Zenfira Magomedalieva (81kg+). One can understand the dilemma faced by Russian selectors as only five weights and with their even stronger men’s team, thus only 3 women likely to be selected for Baku.



Though not all of the above will want to go to Baku, some who do may also face the possibility of having to put on or lose weight even to compete if the Russians decide to hold Baku trials. Other countries expected to excel in the women’s boxing include Poland, Hungary and especially Italy and Bulgaria, a true sign that women’s boxing is well on it way to matching anything the Men can offer, IF only the AIBA would ‘get a move on’ and truly recognise fully the strengths of the female boxers in their own Association .Are you listening Dr Ching-Kuo Wu and Ho Kim? After all it was the women’s boxing at London 2012 that stole the limelight and the standard of competition is much improved now from then.



Noucha Fontijn (75kg) the AIBA current World no.3, has already been chosen by the Dutch Federation as their only female (boxing) representative at the Games whilst Turkey have named one female boxer thus far, at 60lg lightweight, where Gamtze Baºar will be one of the hopefuls trying to stop Taylor from adding to her already enormous medal haul.

"The European Games are a good rehearsal ahead of the Rio Olympics. The conclusions we get in Baku will show us where we are on the road to Rio," said Mr. Eyüp Gözgeç, the President of the Turkish Boxing Federation. The European Games are a major goal for the entire Turkish boxing community.Our athletes, our coaches and our federation are working very hard day and night for this."



France too will have a strong team including Estelle Mosselly at 60kg lightweight another of Taylor’s challengers. The two have frequently fought hard battles in past few years though with the Irish woman always emerging victorious in the end. Could this be Mosselly’s year?



Assuming they nominated. Finland’s Mira Potkonen, Sweden’s Ida Lundblad and Patricia Berghult would be hoping to medal in Baku, and so too of course Azerbaijan’s own Yana Allekseevna who took 60 kg silver at the 2014 AIBA World’s in Jeju,losing only in the final to the aforementioned Taylor. 40-36, 39-37,39-37 being the final decision of the judges.



As well as competing in Baku 2015, Irish Olympic boxing Gold medallist Katie Taylor has already been named as an international Athlete Ambassador for Baku 2015, alongside other well-known European sporting figures such as British taekwondo athlete Jade Jones, French rhythmic gymnast Kseniya Moustafaeva and Denmark’s canoe sprinter René Holten Poulsen. Other Ambassadors for the Games will be announced later.



Mr. Pat Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committees and Olympic Council of Ireland President, said:



“The Irish Delegation to the Baku 2015 European Games is an extremely strong one. We are delighted that some 62 of our best athletes will get the chance to inspire future athletes and Irish Olympians across the 17 days of competition.



While we are delighted that Katie Taylor will be representing Ireland at the Games, we are also honoured that she has been appointed as an Athlete Ambassador for Baku 2015. As one of the world’s leading competitors in any sport, you couldn’t ask for a better ambassador for the first ever European Games.”



Mr Pierce O’Callaghan, Baku 2015 Director of Sport, said: “The European Federations have completely embraced the vision of the European Games and it is a reflection of the world-class competition we will have at Baku 2015 that 11 of the 16 Olympic sports on our programme now include qualification opportunities for the next Olympic Games.



Katie Taylor, Team Ireland Boxer and International Athlete Ambassador for Baku 2015, said:



“Baku 2015 will be great for European sport and I am delighted to be involved both as an Athlete Ambassador and as a competitor. I will be doing my best to raise the Games’ profile and get the word out to as many people as possible.”



The first ever European Games in Baku will take part in 18 competition venues across Azerbaijan, including five ‘state of the art’ new stadiums, seven existing venues that are being upgraded and six temporary arenas. The newly built venues will host Gymnastics, BMX, Aquatics and Shooting. A new 68,000 seat, purpose-built stadium has also been erected for Athletics and for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the games. Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012 and The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in cooperation with the EOC.



All you need to know for Baku:



How many tickets will be available for sale?



Approximately 600,000 tickets across more than 280 sessions for the Baku 2015 European Games will be available for public sale.




What is a session?



A session is defined as an individual sporting event, or group of individual sporting events, held in close timing to each other at one specific venue, whereby one ticket per person is sold to cover attendance.



Will any FREE tickets be available?



There will be two types of tickets: with value (all regular tickets with different price levels depending on the session and venue) and complimentary tickets (free of charge) for: children under 16 years of age for specific venues/sessions; and spectators with accessible needs (plus their companion) for specific venues/sessions.



There will be also discounted prices for the Heydar Aliyev Arena and National Gymnastics Arena for children under 16 years of age and spectators with accessible needs and their companion.



Complimentary tickets for children or spectators with accessible needs will be available only at City Ticket Outlets and during the Games at Venue Box Offices.



Will there be any free sport events?



No, there will be no ‘entirely’ free sport events but EOC encourages spectators without tickets to attend along the courses of the following sport sessions: Cycling – Road (Women’s and Men’s Time Trial) and Triathlon (Running Stage). Start and Finish standing area tickets for these sessions will be available for sale.



Buying Tickets:



When, where and how can I buy tickets?



BEGOC/EOC will release Baku 2015 Games tickets for public sale on 20 March 2015 on a first-come, first-served basis, through their official Baku 2015 Ticket Sales web page.



They will offer a number of official ticket sales channels through which you can purchase tickets for the Games. City Ticket Outlets will open in April 2015 and they will have Venue Ticket Box Offices during the Games.




Will any discount tickets be available?



Yes. There will be discounted prices for the Heydar Aliyev Arena and the National Gymnastics Arena for children between 2 and 16 years of age and spectators with accessible needs and their companion. Children under the age of two years (born after or on 28.06.2013) will not require a ticket. The parent or guardian must ensure that the child does not occupy a seat within the venue and that the child is seated on their lap at all times.




IF you live outside Azerbaijan. Can you still buy tickets?



Yes! Organisers will provide official sales channels for purchasing Games tickets to anyone, anywhere. On 20 March 2015, tickets for the Baku 2015 European Games will go on sale to the general public. You will be able to buy tickets on-line through,the Baku 2015 official Ticket Sales web page at www.baku2015.com/tickets




How does one purchase tickets for children below the age of 16?



For most of the sport events except for those at the National Gymnastic Arena (Gymnastics sessions) and the Heydar Aliyev Arena (Judo, Wrestling and Sambo), there will be complimentary tickets for children between age 2 – 16 years of age. You do not need to book them in advance. They will be available for pick up at any City Ticket Outlets or Venue Box Office. A birth certificate will be required for complimentary ticket collection. The Baku 2015 ticketing team will ensure a certain number of tickets will be available for complimentary ticket collection.



For Gymnastics sessions, Judo, Wrestling and Sambo sessions, children’s tickets (2-16 years of age) will be available for purchase on the Baku 2015 Ticket Sales web page or at any City Ticket Outlet or Venue Box Office. A birth certificate will be also required for the collection of children’s tickets.



For Ceremonies, there will be no special tickets for children. There are no age restrictions for attendance at the Ceremonies but due to the loud music and sound organisers highly recommend children under the age of seven do not attend.



Please note that Ticket Holders under the age of sixteen (16) can only attend a Session when accompanied by an adult companion Ticket Holder (over the age of eighteen) who is in possession of a Ticket and a valid ID in order to access the venue.



Can I buy tickets on behalf of someone else?



Yes, you can if you are living in Azerbaijan and do not require a visa. All international spectators visiting Azerbaijan for the Baku 2015 European Games will be able to apply for a simplified visa procedure and be issued with a single entry visa valid 30 days. Visas will be issued upon arrival at international airports of the Republic of Azerbaijan, by presenting tickets or a ticket purchase confirmation together with the ticket holder’s passport details.



For this reason they recommend all international spectators purchase tickets through the Baku 2015 Ticket Sales web page in order to obtain the ticket purchase confirmation and to be able to receive a visa at any international airport of Azerbaijan.



However, if you are an international spectator traveling with your family or with a group, one person can buy tickets for all family or group members and list them as ticket holders. In that case all family or group members will be issued with a visa upon arrival at the airport on production of a ticket purchase confirmation, but only if they are listed on it. To learn more about the 30 day single entry simplified visa procedure, please click on the Visa tab on www.baku2015.com

Full ticketing details for ALL sessions are here:

http://www.baku2015.com/tickets/index.html

 
     
     
   
 
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