About the Games
In the first European Games in Azerbaijan 5898 athletes from 50 countries participated. They competed in 253 events of 20 different sports.
Most medals won (from a total of 42 teams) by: 1. Russia – 164 (79, 40, 45), 2. Azerbaijan – 56 (21, 15, 20), 3. Great Britain – 47 (18, 11, 18), … 24. Lithuania – 7 (2, 1, 4).
Lithuania in the Games
As many as 70 Lithuanian athletes together with almost 6,000 athletes from 49 countries were eternally immortalized in sports chronicles by becoming the participants of the first ever European Games.
During the Opening ceremony, the Lithuanian national flag was carried by gymnast skier Rokas Guščinas.
The first European Games were successful for Lithuania – our country’s athletes brought home 2 gold, 1 silver, and 4 bronze medals.
Canoeist Henrikas Žustautas (men’s C1 200 m) won gold, swimmer Andrius Šidlauskas added gold (50 m breaststroke) and silver (100 m breaststroke) medals to his growing collection of awards and achieved the Games’ record (50 m breaststroke in 27.75 sec), and badminton player Kęstutis Navickas, beach volleyball players Ieva Dumbauskaitė and Monika Povilaitytė, and sambo wrestlers Rūta Aksionova and Radvilas Matukas all won bronze.
Among top 8 also were canoeists Ignas Navakauskas (K-1 200 m event – 6th place), Ričardas Nekriošius and Andrejus Olijnikas (K-2 1000 m event – 6th place), Aurimas Lankas and Edvinas Ramanauskas (K-2 200 m event – 7th place), boxer Mantas Valavičius (5th place), judokas Marius Paškevičius (5th place) and Santa Pakenytė (5th place), gymnast Rokas Guščinas (8th place), wrestlers Giedrė Blekaitytė (women’s wrestling – 5th place), Vilius Laurinaitis (Greco-Roman wrestling – 7th place), Julius Matuzevičius (Greco-Roman wrestling – 8th place), Aleksandras Kazakevičius (Greco-Roman wrestling – 8th place), men’s basketball 3×3 team (Vitalijus Lukša, Giedrius Marčiukaitis, Darius Tarvydas, and Ovidijus Varanauskas, 7th place), swimmer Agnė Šeleikatė (50 m breaststroke – 8th place).
“For such a small country seven medals is an impressive achievement. Doubtlessly, the first Lithuanian team to participate the European Games performed really outstandingly”, said the LNOC President Daina Gudzinevičiūtė when discussing the team’s results and the 24th place in the medals table.
The Games programme included 20 different sports, 16 of which were Olympic sports.
The EOC gave awards to national Olympic committees for the achievements of their athletes in the Games. Based on the Executive Committee’s decision, the total sum of money received by the LNOC (EUR 18,300) was allocated to winners of 1st-8th places as was specified by the EOC. The LNOC also gave monetary prizes to coaches and medics, and also awarded the European Games’ champion and vice champion A. Šidlauskas. During the European Games only young Lithuanian swimmers competed, therefore the EOC did not give awards to swimmers.
Until these Games, Europe did not have an event that would cover the whole region and multiple sports. The decision to organize the European Games was made at the 41st EOC General Assembly in Rome, in December 2012.
The European Games’ programme included diving, swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo, archery, athletics, badminton, basketball (3×3), beach soccer, boxing, canoe sprint, cycling (BMX, mountain biking, and road), fencing, artistic, rhythmic, acrobatic, aerobic, and trampoline gymnastics, judo, karate, sambo, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, triathlon, beach and indoor volleyball, and freestyle, womens’ and Greco-Roman wrestling.
During the events of 12 sports qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics were offered.
Winners of judo events were awarded two medals each, because during the European Games the European Judo Championships also took place. Also, during the judo tournament two para-sport events took place.
The aquatic sports were only open to junior-level competitors.
The athletics competition formed the third division of the European Team Championships.
Promo video of the first European Games:
Lithuanians in Baku 2015 :
Lithuanian team’s parade in the Opening ceremony of Baku 2015 European Games: