A couple from Argentina salvaged hometown honor Tuesday night by winning the "stage tango" category on the closing day of the World Tango Championships.
Max Van de Voorde and Solange Acosta won out over 19 other couples who illustrated the international reach of the annual competition, coming from such nations as Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Japan and Greece.
"This is a surprise. Our goal was simply to reach the final, since last year we couldn't qualify," Van de Voorde said. "So it came as a gift. We can't believe it."
It was a happy night for Argentines. Couples from Argentina won the top four spots in the creative "stage tango," a day after a Colombian couple won the more traditional "salon tango" category.
Van de Voorde and Acosta won a $7,500 prize, two trips to dance in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and a contract for a two-month dancing tour of Japan.
About 400 couples from around the globe entered this year's championship, which was the ninth edition of the annual event.
The tango emerged in the late 19th century in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, Uruguay. It slowly spread through all social classes of the region, then its popularity spread in recent decades and became an attraction in Europe, the United States and Japan.
"The good news is that this is growing fantastically year after year," Mayor Mauricio Macri said.