Argentinian couples win top tango competition after Maradona tributes

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Around 800 dancers from 25 countries participated in this year's World tango dance championship in Buenos Aires (AFP/RONALDO SCHEMIDT)

Two Argentinian couples won the world's biggest tango competition, held in Buenos Aires, on Saturday at the end of a festival that paid tribute to late legendary soccer player and long-time tango fan Diego Maradona.

Held through a combination of in-person and virtual events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's world tango dance championship involved around 800 dancers from 25 countries.

The finals were staged in front of the illuminated Buenos Aires Obelisk at the heart of the Argentine capital.

Couple Emmanuel Casel and Yanina Muzyka won the "stage tango" category, while Agustin Agnez and Barbara Ferreyra were crowned winners of the "salon" category.

Throughout the competition, songs and dances paid homage to Argentine sports great Diego Maradona, who died of a heart attack on November 25 last year aged 60.

Widely regarded as one of the best soccer players of all time, the captain of Argentina's 1986 World Cup-winning team had recorded tango songs as an amateur singer and was known to show off his dancing skills at parties.

The tango competition coincided with the reopening of Buenos Aires' famed "milongas" or tango salons after the pandemic had forced them to shut for 18 months.

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