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  • Connor Keane

Love Stories, Young Triumphs and Final Chapters

The heart of aerobics. There is very little that can be more satisfying to watch than two gymnasts expressing themselves on the floor together. Nothing pulls at the heartstrings of a spectator then a genuine connection on the competition floor, which has brought together some lifelong partnerships. A perfect example of this being the mixed pair from Chile, who’s relationship on the stage has flourished outside of aerobics., the pair are married and have a child together.

While the performances on the stage are elegant, the competition is often fierce. As demonstrated by Davide Donati and Michela Castoldi, a single mistake can take you from title favourites to being left out of finals.


With the the competition drawing closer by the day, we would like to delve into the entries and search for a few of our favourites to be contending at the top of the rankings. By naming 6 top competitors, we believe these will be your athletes to keep a close eye out for, as they could truly content for a place on the podium.


5. Antonio Papazov & Ana Maria Stoilova

Kicking off proceeds with the two Plovdiv natives. Often perceived as the entertainers of the category, they are much loved competitors in the mixed pair category. After competing in many internationals across their senior aerobic career, including world cups, European and world championships, there are very few in the sport who are unfamiliar with their name. Unfortunately their results haven’t always matched their abilities, with no world or European medals to hold to their mixed pair legacy, however we believe this could be their competition to break through as show themselves at the highest stage. With a friendship stretching across 19 years, you can always count on them to captivate the audience with a fantastic performance!


4. Emir Erisik & Ayse Onbasi

Next up we have the Turkish mixed pair, who will be making their international debut as a mixed pair. The pairing with Mehmet Ercos, which spectators of the age group competitions will be familiar with, granted the two a great deal of success. With back to back silver medals in the 2017 and 2019 European championships, Ayse is no stranger to success in the mixed pair category, and while it is a new partnership being put in place we still believe that success could be on the horizon. Look out for a Turkish tale out in Baku.


3. Geigorii Shikhaleev & Tatyana Konakova

After a highly decorated performance in the age group competition last week, Russia will be looking to continue proceeds with their highly successful mixed pair. The due have medalled at the 2019 European games, demonstrating how even the biggest stages don’t unsettle them. Their year of success was without a follow up opportunity, due to covid 19 cancelling international competitions. However, we believe that this absence will fuel them into a successful 2021, starting with a possible medal to bring back to Russia.


2. Daniel Bali & Fanni Mazacs

Our second to last inclusion is the mixed pair from Hungary. Lead by the experience and consistency of Daniel Bali, they are aiming to final in their third consecutive senior competition together. After being handed over the torch by Dora Heygi, Fanni has managed to step up to the high standards of the Hungarian nation. With a gold medal at the 2019 European championships in Baku, they hope to return from Azerbaijan with the title once again, and they have every right to have confidence in themselves to do so.

1. Davide Donati & Michela Castoldi

It’s hard to put into words the legacy that these impeccable athletes will leave behind upon retirement. The ultimate storytellers of aerobic gymnastics, never have we been graced with athletes who step onto the floor and consistently hand their hearts over to the audience quite like they do. With an astounding 8 mixed pair medals ranging from world cups, world championships and a European olympic title, there is no questioning their sheer consistent success. Sadly, they will be retiring from the sport after this competition to focus on their personal lives, but they will forever be remembered as the most successful mixed pair of their generation. We expect their last dance to blow away all expectations as they bow out in superb fashion, with the whole aerobics world wishing them the best for their future.


While we couldn’t mention every competitor in this list, we would also like to give a special mention to the mixed pairs of Italy (Marcello Patterini & Anna Bullo) Brazil’s (Lucas Barbosa & Tamires Silva) and Romania (David Gavrilovici & Sarmiza Niculescu). With their national and international successes recently, we believe they could surge into the final tomorrow.


We would also love to hear your thoughts on the category, who do you think could win, medal or final for this competition?

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