Baku 2015 has today announced that Turkish wrestler Taha Akgül will be an Athlete Ambassador for this summer’s inaugural European Games, which commence in Baku on 12 June.
A European and world freestyle champion in the 120 kg division, Mr Akgül won three consecutive European titles at the European Senior Wrestling Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He also won a bronze medal at the 2013 World Wrestling Championships.
Mr Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer of Baku 2015, said: “We are delighted to welcome Taha on-board as an international Athlete Ambassador for Baku 2015. Athletes of his calibre are a fantastic endorsement of the first ever European Games and the incredible competition we will witness in June.
“The success that Taha has enjoyed to date in his young career reflects his commitment to his sport, and we look forward to seeing him compete as he seeks to become the first ever European Games champion in his discipline.”
Baku 2015 Athlete Ambassadors will represent their sports and feature in marketing campaigns around the continent and on social media to promote the European Games.
Mr Akgül, whose father and brother were both wrestlers, said: “I am very excited to be an Athlete Ambassador for the first ever European Games, and am looking forward to competing in Baku in one month’s time. To represent my country at Baku 2015 is an honour, and I will do my very best to become the first ever European Games champion in my category.”
Prof. Uğur Erdener, President of the Turkish Olympic Committee, said: “Taha is a very successful competitor and we are delighted to see him become a Baku 2015 Ambassador. I have no doubt that he will do a good job promoting the European Games, and his sport of wrestling, throughout Europe.”
Mr Akgül joins German table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Greek fencer Vassiliki Vougiouka, Irish boxer Katie Taylor, British taekwondo athlete Jade Jones, French rhythmic gymnast Kseniya Moustafaeva, Denmark’s canoe sprinter René Holten Poulsen, Serbia’s 3x3 basketball team of Dušan Domović Bulut, Marko Savic, Marko Zdero and Dejan Majstorovic, Polish mountain biker Maja Włoszczowska, Italian shooter Niccolò Campriani, and Russian beach soccer athletes Andrey Bukhlitskiy, Ilya Leonov and Anton Shkarin as Baku 2015 international Athlete Ambassadors.
The Baku 2015 wrestling competition will be held at the Heydar Aliyev Arena over six days from 13 June, with 480 athletes competing in 24 medal events across the weight categories. The Heydar Aliyev Arena will also host the judo and sambo competitions.