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Natural artistic connection for Panaete and Barna

Panaete and Barna
Panaete and Barna are hoping to connect with the jury in Sunday's final. Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Romanian pair to fine-tune routine for Sunday's final

Although aerobic gymnasts Lavinia Panaete and Dacian Barna have been partners for only a year, their emotional connection to each other and their judges already feels timeless.

"It’s from nature," said Panaete, who finished second with Barna in mixed pair qualifications at the National Gymnastics Arena on Wednesday. "It’s about the feelings you transmit to the jury, in your eyes and smiles, and all the feeling that is in your exercise."

Panaete and Barna delivered a charismatic, technically precise performance in qualification, where they trailed Michela Castoldi and Davide Donati of Italy by just 0.050.

Between now and Sunday's final, the 19-year-old Romanian pair want to connect even more deeply, so they can boost their artistic score and potentially win.

"To create more feeling, we repeat the steps while we’re looking in the mirror and at each other," Panaete said. "We're trying to tell a story."

Barna said the pair have not only passion, but also the talent needed to take gold.

"We are good and we hope to win," Barna said.

"This is what we train to do," added Panaete.


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