Akop Serobyan, the head coach of the Armenian artistic gymnastics team, said that Armenia will not participate in gymnastics competitions in Azerbaijan despite the fact that boycott will hurt Armenian gymnasts.
Baku will host the 2019 EYOF and the 2020 MAG European Championships. Considering that 2020 Euros will be one of the Olympic qualifiers and that Armenia actually has a pretty strong MAG team, boycotting the competition may limit the qualifying chances.
In addition, Serobyan said that Armenian gymnasts can only receive a permission to defer their army service if they win medals at major competitions:
“The 2020 European Championships will take place in Baku, this competition would be the last chance for our young athletes to achieve high results and to get the deferral. However, we decided not to participate in the European Championships in Baku. Our only chance is at the European Games in Minsk. An Azerbaijani is the President of the European Gymnastics Union and that’s why important competitions will take place in Baku. But we won’t go there.”
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