A flashmob of almost 100 young volunteers provided an energetic finale to the official opening of the IBSA Judo Grand Prix 2019 in Baku.
The volunteers, many of them students, performed a high-energy dance routine in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Heydar Aliyev Sports Complex.
The ceremony started with a film celebrating the diversity of Azerbaijan and the achievements of its para-athletes and those with disabilities around the world.
Speeches followed by Ilgar Rahimov, president of the Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan, Marius Vizer, president of the International Judo Federation, Sahib Babayev, minister of Labor and Social Protection, and Ismayil Ismayilov, deputy minister of Ministry of Youth and Sport.
Ilgar Rahimov said: “This is a very exciting day for the world of judo. We are proud to welcome 212 athletes from 35 countries here in Baku to be part of this spectacular international competition.”
Ilgar Rahimov and Marius Vizer were presented with special honours for their contribution to Paralympic sport.
Twirling ribbons, music that saw the audience clapping along and a light show set the mood for the flashmob.
The first day of the competition saw Azerbaijan win nine medals, including three golds.
The IBSA Judo Grand Prix takes place on May 13-14. Entrance is free.