Meeting with President of International Gymnastics Federation Morinari Watanabe

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Belarus hopes to return to the artistic gymnastics elite, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with President of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Morinari Watanabe on 7 August.

The President pointed out the importance of the FIG World Challenge Cup 2017 inMinsk. “I have been informed about the events happening in sport and rhythmic gymnastic in the past three days. I am very grateful for this event in Minsk. I have watched your speech on TV. I have been thinking that there is still too much subjectivism in rhythmic gymnastic,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.

“I hope that with your help this subjectivism will be close to zero soon. It will difficult to eradicate it, but it is needed to do something against it,” the head of state said. In his words, the International Gymnastics Federation made sure that Belarus keeps its promises. “In this process you will always have Belarus’ assistance, and will be able to use it any time,” Aleksandr Lukashenko assured. “This is not only my point of view, the majority of specialists, athletes, coaches in the gymnastics world think the same.”

The president also congratulated Morinari Watanabe on the successful performance of Japanese gymnasts. The head of state deems it necessary to exchange experience between the two countries.

Morinari Watanabe, in turn, said that Belarusian athletes can win many medals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan. “Taking into account the fact that the next Olympic Games will take place in Japan, in my country, do not hesitate to ask for my assistance, I want to be of help,” he added. The FIG president remarked that he had already been to Belarus, and every time he was impressed by Belarusian people and wonderful nature. “I feel as if Belarus is my second homeland,” Morinari Watanabe said. He deems it necessary to step up efforts for the development of sport in Belarus.

Aleksandr Lukashenko presented an honorary sign of the Belarusian National Olympic Committee for achievements in the development of the Olympic movement in the Republic of Belarus to Morinari Watanabe. He also presented the Order of the National Olympic Committee to Vice President of the International Gymnastics Federation, Deputy Chairperson of the Belarusian Gymnastics Association Nellie Kim.