INTERNATIONAL ACROBATICS TOURNAMENT TO OPEN IN VELIKY NOVGOROD

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VELIKY NOVGOROD, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - An international acrobatics tournament kicks off in Veliky Novgorod, in northwestern Russia, on September 2, to run through the 5th. This sporting event, to be held for a third time in commemoration of the Soviet cosmonaut Vladislav Volkov, is expected to bring together some 150 athletes from eleven countries (Belarus, Belgium, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine). The participants will include members of national squads and winners of world and European championships.

In 1970, the cosmonaut Volkov became the first chair of the Soviet Union's Sports Acrobatics Federation. He died on June 30 1971 in a mission as a spacecraft carrying him and his crewmates, Georgy Dobrovolsky and Viktor Patsayev, depressurized on her way back to the Earth. Following Volkov's tragic death, an international sports acrobatics tournament was established in his memory. The event, which received an unofficial status of world championships, was suspended following the collapse of the Soviet Union, to be restarted in Russia in 2002. Veliky Novgorod was chosen as the host city. In the previous, 2nd post-Soviet tournament, Russian athletes won all the golds.

The fixture is staged by the Russian Sports Acrobatics Federation and the Novgorod regional government.

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