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Azerbaijan trumpets success of European Games

June 17, 2015

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — The Azerbaijani government says its hosting of the inaugural European Games has exceeded expectations.

Sports Minister Azad Rahimov says Wednesday he is “proud that the reality has exceeded all of our expectations” at the start of the sixth day of competition out of 17. He did not comment on Olympic ambitions.

Azerbaijan previously failed in bids to host the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, but European Olympic Committees head Patrick Hickey said last week that successfully holding the European Games would show Azerbaijan is ready to become an Olympic host.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev says on his official Twitter account the capital Baku “is a city with one of the most developed sports infrastructure in the region and perhaps even in the world.”

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