World champ gymnast dedicates gold to Turkish women
“Our first medal in aerobic gymnastics in adults. It was a special happiness for us that the first medal was gold,” the 19-year-old told Anadolu Agency on June 3. She won at the 16th championships on May 28.
“I dedicate this medal to Turkish women. I am 19 years old and there were people who were much more experienced than me. We went out to show our strength,” she said. “Turkish women can overcome anything, which was shown there with will and determination. We can do anything.”
About the preparation for the event, Onbaşı said 8-9 hours of training every day was “difficult.”
But, she added, such training develops one not only physically but mentally as well. “I want to tell Turkish youngsters ... sports is a very good thing for the next generation’s health. Our Youth and Sports Ministry and federations are doing their best in this regard.”
Onbaşı expressed her contentment on the fact that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated her after the win.
“It was a proud moment that our president called me, and said that he expected more medals,” she said. “He was very touched when I dedicated the medal to Turkish women. As a state elder his efforts for Turkish sports are truly undeniable.”
The young athlete could not control her tears when the National Anthem was sung on the podium in Azerbaijan.
“It was most special ... every time our National Anthem is sung, I get goosebumps. As our flag was hoisted on the podium, I had indescribable emotions. I couldn’t hold back my tears. It was a very proud feeling.”