Dina Averina will be among the headline names competing in Baku ©Getty Images

Sixty-two nations will take part at the upcoming Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku, where Tokyo 2020 places will be up for grabs as well as gold medals.

A total of 173 individual gymnasts are expected to participate at the event, which begins at the National Gymnastics Arena tomorrow.

It has shifted its position in the sports calendar following last year’s staging in Sofia, with the next competition due to take place in 2021.

Russia are expected to maintain the domination they showed in Sofia, where they won seven gold medals, with Bulgaria and Italy winning the two other titles on offer.

Russia’s Dina Averina is the defending all-around gold medallist, having finished ahead of silver medallist Linoy Ashram of Israel and fellow Russian Aleksandra Soldatova in Sofia last year.

Averina won the all-around crown at the World Challenge Cup which concluded on August 31.

Zohra Aghamirova will be among the Azerbaijani gymnasts competing on home soil in Baku ©Getty Images
Zohra Aghamirova will be among the Azerbaijani gymnasts competing on home soil in Baku ©Getty Images

Azerbaijan’s Zohra Aghamirova, who finished 24th in the all-around competition last year, is hoping that familiarity will help her to a higher placing this time round as she has boarded at the school for gymnasts housed in the competition arena.

In what will be her third World Championships, the 18-year-old will be seeking success in the group competition with team mates Veronika Hudis, Yelyzaveta Luzan and Maryam Safarova, with the hope of qualifying a place for an Azerbaijani gymnast at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Aghamirova won silver medals in the all-around and with the clubs at the Summer Universiade in Naples earlier this year.

"This competition is important,” Aghamirova said.

“It’s at home here in Azerbaijan and it’s important for the qualification for the Olympic Games.

“I hope to catch everything, to give my best performance."

The Championships conclude on September 22.