Ayşe Begüm Onbaşı wins gold at Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku

Turkish gymnast Ayşe Begüm Onbaşı was crowned world aerobic gymnastics champion in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku on Friday.

The 19-year-old athlete took the Individual Women’s title at the 16thInternational Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships.

She was awarded 21,850 points – the same as Bulgaria’s Darina Pashova and Russian Gymnastics Federation’s Daria Tikhonova (bronze medallist), but beat her nearest rivals with a better execution score.

Onbaşı scored 9,000, ahead of silver medallist Pashova, who had an execution score of 8,800, while Tikhonova took bronze with 8,750.

Among those to congratulate Onbaşı was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, First Lady Emine Erdoğan, Dr. Mehmet Kasapoğlu, Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister, and Mansur Yavaş, the Mayor of Ankara, where Onbaşı’s gymnastics club EGO is based.

Onbaşı, teamed up with fellow Turkish gymnasts Emir Erışık and Erkut Ergin, who came eighth in the trio final at the championships.

Azerbaijan hosted the Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. The three-day tournament, which started on Thursday 27 May, was held without spectators because of Covid restrictions.

Onbaşı is the first Turkish athlete to win a world championship in aerobic gymnastics at senior-level. Speaking after receiving her gold medal in Baku, she said:

“We have shown the power of Turkish women. Thank you again for your support of Turkish sports and the Gymnastics Federation.”

Born in Aksihar, Manisa, in western Turkey, Onbaşı has been nicknamed the “Medal Monster” for her stunning medal haul.

Since winning her first gold in the Junior Women’s Individual event at the 2016 Aerobic Gymnastics World Championships in Incheon, South Korea, the teenager has won over 60 medals, including 35 gold medals, at national and international competitions.