European champion Matvei Petrov joins Tirana club Veliaj: Historic chance to revive gymnastics
European gymnastics champion Matvei Petrov joins the Tirana club. The elite athlete born in Russia, but who has lived in Prague, Czech Republic for years, received Albanian citizenship in 2018 to compete for the red and black colors in the European Championship of Turkey, where he won his first gold medal.
Petrov, 30, was received today by the Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj. He donated the Clock Tower to the gymnast. "With the talent and support so far, adding the energy of the Tirana Club, I am sure we have a historic chance to advance a sport that has had a glorious past in Albania, but like many things in the years of transition, was forgotten and faded. "Maybe the time has come to revive it", said Veliaj.
Petrov expressed satisfaction with the success achieved with the Albanian national team and happy for the support given in achieving the champion title.
"I have been doing gymnastics for 26 years, first in Russia, then in the Czech Republic, and finally in Albania. For me it is a great success. "I am happy for the support they give me here and for the results", said the gymnast.
His coach, Alon Hasa, spoke about the possibility of having a gym, which was also discussed during the meeting with Mayor Veliaj. He revealed the objectives for the future: “We hope that we can advance the sport of gymnastics, as it is the basis of every sport. We hope that in Tirana we will achieve results in the future ".
The gymnast and his staff, together with the mayor Veliaj, visited some of the new schools in the capital, which are equipped with modern gyms and sports fields.
"Maybe not everyone will become elite gymnasts, but these fields serve the sports culture, children learn to play in a team. "Tirana needs this character", said the mayor.