ISTANBUL

A young Turkish aerobic gymnast, Ayse Begum Onbasi, aims to break a record in the world championships in May.

Red Bull athlete Onbasi, 19, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview that she plans to attend many sporting events in 2021 as 2020 tournaments were hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Onbasi, who previously won European and world titles in juniors, said that it was a bitter year for athletes as the virus forced them to train at home rather than gyms and sports halls.

“As we are used to going to gyms for a workout, staying at home was not good for us,” Onbasi said.

But she added that this term went well for those, who had injuries and she had opportunities to have spare time.

Onbasi said that 2021 has a busy schedule as last year’s many events were integrated into this year due to the pandemic and unlike the past years, European and world championships will be run in the same year.

She stated that her main objective is this year’s world championships as it will be a qualification event for the 2022 World Games in the US.

Onbasi said that she misses competing in tournaments and feels well whenever an opportunity comes.

“I figured out in 2020 that I was born to compete. We worked out at home [due to pandemic] but we did not have any goal. We were in uncertainty or our goals were deferred. This really upset me. Because I think workout contributes to not only physical but also mental progress.”

Endorsed by world-famous energy drink giant Red Bull, Onbasi said that she is lucky to carry on to compete for this team as “publicity” is one of the biggest advantages that Red Bull provides her.

Apart from her sporting career, Onbasi said that she is active on social media, usually responding to almost all the messages sent by her followers.

Onbasi has personal Twitter and Instagram accounts as well as a YouTube channel, where she adds training and Q&A videos.

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