page with Amelia Racea and Claudia Voicu
photos are up on the Romanian team page
Gold for Amelia Racea at Glasgow Grandprix
1. Amelia Racea (Rom) VT:14.200; UB: 13.700; BB: 13.766; FX: 12.900; Total: 54.566
2. Jessica Lopez (Ven) VT: 13.666; UB: 13.466; BB: 13.366; FX: 13.433; Total: 53.931
3. Raluca Haidu (Rom) VT: 14.200; UB: 12.766; BB: 12.633; FX: 12.833; Total: 52.432
After the competition, Amelia said that she was really pleased with the result and she hopes to continue her success this year as the World Championships are coming up soon.
10 April 2011
Another gold medal for Sandra Izbasa and a silver for Diana Chelaru.
1. Anna Dementyeva (Rus) 15.350
2. Carlotta Ferlito (Ita) 14.500
3. Elisabetta Preziosa (Ita) 14.325
4. Julie Croket (Bel) 14.150
5. Ariella Kaeslin (Sui) 14.125
6. Vasiliki Millousi (Gre) 13.800
7. Marta Pihan-Kulesza (Pol) 12.850
8. Hannah Whelan (GBR) 11.950
1. Sandra Izbasa (Rom) 14.500
2. Diana Chelaru (Rom) 14.475
3. Yulia Belokobylskaya (Rus) 14.450
4. Elisabeth Tweddle (GBR) 14.300
5. Julie Croket (Bel) 14.275
6. Carlotta Ferlito (Ita) 14.050
7. Anna Dementyeva (Rus) 13.950
8. Tunde Csillag (Hun) 13.150
9 April 2011
Gold for Sandra on vault!
Sandra looked absolutely composed today and the determination showed on her face. Even though this sounds very weird, I have the feeling that her not winning a medal on floor during Worlds in Rotterdam, made her grit her teeth, buckle down and fight hard to prove herself and it has done wonders so far. Sandra is the first Romanian gymnast to win gold on vault since Monica Rosu in 2004!
Amelia Racea was in the vault final too and went up 4th. Her DTY wasn't as good as yesterday, her legs were bent and she had a few steps to the side. Her second vault was executed beautifully, a piked Omelianchik. She looked a little tired, probably the excitement of yesterday's bronze medal and not enough sleep.
Sandra's first vault was a DTY, practically nailed, just a slight step. 14.7!! Second vault, Roundoff, half on, front layout half off, stuck!! Beautiful vault and she's first! Lots of kisses and hugs but she's composing herself as there were still 2 gymnasts to go. After the competition is over, she gets a big hug from the Berlin mascot and she's clearly emotional. Fantastic to see and so deserved after her long fight back from injury.
1. Sandra Izbasa (ROM) 14.700 and 14.650: 14.675
2. Oksana Chusovitina (GER) 14.800 and 14.275: 14.537
3. Ariella Kaeslin (SUI) 14.950 and 14.000: 14.475
4. Tatiana Nabieva (RUS) 14.500 and 14.075: 14.287
5. Elisabeth Seitz (GER) 14.675 and 13.700: 14.187
6 Giulia Steingruber (SUI) 13.900 and 14.100: 14.000
7. Amelia Racea (ROM) 14.000 and 13.450: 13.725
8. N.Marachkouskaya (BLR) 13.825 and 12.300: 13.062
Beth Tweddle still rules bars :) Brilliant routine. In the replay, it looked like Nabieva hit the bars with her feet on her own 'Nabieva' skill but the judges obviously didn't see it.
1. Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR) 15.100
2. Tatiana Nabieva (RUS) 15.075
3. Kim Bui (GER)14.675
4. Anna Dementyeva (RUS) 14.475
5. Elisabeth Seitz (GER) 14.175
6. Aagje van Walleghem (BEL) 14.075
7. Celine van Gerner (NED) 13.975
8. Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) 12.850
8 April 2011
Bronze for Amelia Racea!
The competition started unfortunately with an injury on vault for Aliya Mustafina. Such a shame for her but also for the competition.
Amelia Racea started on bars and redeemed herself compared to the routine she performed in qualifications where she sat down after her double front dismount. She seemed to go really slow though, not the same speed with which she usually performs bars.
Diana Chelaru started on her favourite apparatus floor and wow's the crowd with a stuck full in and a beautiful triple twist.
Amelia performed very well on beam and showed for instance a full twist, front arial, backhand spring to back layout, side arial, side somi. The only slight wobble came after her pirouette! and she had a step on her dismount, a 2.5 twist. (14.550)
Diana goes on to vault and had to stand waiting for some time, holding on to her good luck icon which is sown into her leo and mumbling to herself, probably saying a quiet prayer. She
performed a DTY with a slight hop on landing.
Amelia had a dreadful time on floor during qualifications so the pressure was on but she did reasonably well, slight adjustments on landings after her tumbling runs (triple full, 2.5 twist to punch front) but well enouhg to keep on challenging for a medal.
This was crunch time for Diana on bars and she looked a little frightened beforehand. She started very hectic on high bar with a clear hip full into Gienger, pirouette to Jaeger but she had a dead hang too. Dismount double layout. It was a little scary to watch as you could almost feel her panic.
Chelaru had to finish her competition on beam but she's determined and it showed. She nails the first sequences, front pike kickover, backhand spring layout to two feet, back tuck, steps back cleanly, backhand spring, backhand spring to double tuck, small hop back but very good routine and she couldn't have done more. All she could do is wait and see what the competition did.
Amelia finished on a strong apparatus for her, and did a DTY, a little bit of a loss of legs but
good vault overall and it took her into 3rd place. It was almost like she could not believe she had won a medal and after a disasterous qualification for her standard, she had redeemed herself fantastically.
I felt a little sorry for Diana though as she competed so well but fingers crossed for her that she will medal on floor on Sunday.
Just a side note, it's very disappointing to see a medal ceremony on tv without actually see the medals being presented. A little bit of a farce for the spectators in the arena who have paid
good money for these tickets and do not see a complete ceremony either. Apparently the medal ceremony is a good 40 minutes away on public transport and the gymnasts are rushed out of the arena to get there in time. What is the point one could argue.
1. Anna Dementyeva (RUS) VT: 13.600; UB: 14.250; BB: 15.150; FX: 14.475; Total: 57.475
2. Elisabeth Seitz (GER) VT: 14.625; UB: 14.725; BB: 13.625; FX: 13.725; Total: 56.700
3. Amelia Racea (ROM) VT: 14.400; UB: 13.825; BB: 14.550; FX: 13.825; Total: 56.600
4. Diana Chelaru (ROM) VT: 14.350; UB: 13.450; BB: 13.975; FX: 14.550; Total: 56.325
5. Carlotta Ferlito (ITA) VT: 13.875; UB: 13.175; BB: 14.875; FX: 13.900; Total: 55.825
6. Vanessa Ferrari (ITA) VT: 13.875; UB: 13.900; BB: 13.750; FX: 13.950; Total: 55.475
7. Celine van Gerner (NED) VT: 13.525; UB: 14.375; BB: 13.750; FX: 13.800; Total: 55.450
8. Ariella Kaeslin (SUI) VT: 14.750; UB: 13.625; BB: 14.150; FX: 12.850; Total: 55.375
7 April 2011
Mixed results for the Romanians
Ana Porgras and Amelia Racea started in the first subdivision. It's Amelia's first competition this year and she must have been nervous. Unfortunately she sat down after her double front dismount off bars and fell on floor but on a positive note, she qualified for the AA final (due to only 2 gymnasts per country rule) and has a chance to redeem herself. Ama (as her teammates called her) has qualified in 8th place for the vault final.
Ana Porgras, who looked so strong in all the training videos that were shown on the internet, fell off beam on a layout stepout and had lots of tiny adjustments on beam. Sadly enough she didn't qualify for the beam final and worse, she was withdrawn from the competition and didn't compete on floor and vault due to a shank injury.
Things did pick up though. Little Diana Chelaru looks like a completely different gymnast since
last years World Championships. She looks happy, strong, positive and is performing great. She qualified in 3rd place for the AA final and in 3rd place for floor final. For Romanian tv she said: 'If on Friday I finish 3rd in the
AA, I would be really happy. I want more though, a competition is a competition and you never know what is going to happen.'
Sandra Izbasa too had a super competition, finishing first on floor and qualifying for the vault final. The interviewer for Romanian tv mentioned that she hadn't been on the podium since
2008!! so Sandra set him straight and said 'I was injured, that's why!'' and beamed an all saying smile into the camera. Sandra: 'I felt good on all 3 apparatus. The final is important but I have faith and will do everything I can to be more secure on floor. I hope, however, that I can get onto the rostrum on vault too.' Sandra qualified in first place for the floor final and 2nd for vault final.
Sadly enough there will be no Romanian in the beam final, very unusual.
The AA is tomorrow at 18.00. BBCi is showing live coverage.
1. Aliya Mustafina (Rus): VT: 14.725; UB: 15.600; BB: 14.900; FX: 14.525; Total: 59.750
2. Anna Dementyeva (Rus): VT: 13.600; UB: 14.450; BB: 14.825; FX: 14.025; Total: 56.900
3. Diana Chelaru (Rom): VT: 14.400; UB: 13.650; BB: 13.900; FX: 14.400; Total: 56.350
26. Amelia Racea (Rom): VT: 14.525; UB: 12.675; BB: 13.875; FX: 10.925; Total: 52.000
Sandra Izbasa (Rom): VT: 14.525; BB: 14.100; FX: 14.600;
Ana Porgras (Rom): UB: 13.575; BB: 13.825
4 April 2011
This year Europeans will just feature an AA and apparatus finals. Ana Porgras, Amelia Racea and Diana Chelaru will all compete in the AA qualification and Sandra Izbasa will compete on floor, vault and beam.
In the meantime, Catalina Ponor has decided to come back into gymnastics and is training alongside the members of the National team. She would like to try and go to the Olympics next year. She's also lacking a World Title on floor but that's not her main priority, reports Prosport.
The program is:
4th of April: Podium training
6th of April: Qualifications AA, VT, UB, BB, FX
8th of April: AA final
9th of April: Apparatus finals VT, UB
10th of April: Apparatus finals BB, FX
Then another question has been raised about the up and coming World Championships that are going to be organised in Tokyo, Japan at the start of October. The worry is the nuclear disaster that is still unfolding and not under control.
For Gazeta Sporturilor, Mariana Bitang said: 'They will have to take the best decision for the gymnasts so they don't have added stress. I'm convinced that they will analyse everything, moreover because things in Japan aren't at all calmed down. It's premature to think about it all
at the moment. These World Championships are very important because they decide the qualifications for the Olympics in London. With all due respect for the Japanese people but I think that at the moment, they have other expenses without having to organise such a competition.'
21 March 2011
Results World Cup Paris
1. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) 14.933
2. Tatiana Nabieva (Rus) 14.400
3. Diana Chelaru (Rom) 14.017
4. Jennifer Khwela (RSA) 13.783
1. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) 15.733
2. Qiushuang Huang (Chn) 15.400
3. Elisabeth Seitz (Ger) 15.00
4. Tatiana Nabieva (Rus) 14.566
1. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) 14.866
2. Ana Porgras (Rom) 13.800
3. Anna Dementyeva (Rus) 13.733
4. Lauren Mitchell (Aus) 12.533
1. Sandra Izbasa (Rom) 14.833
2. Diana Chelaru (Rom) 14.633
3. Anna Dementyeva (Rus) 14.433
4. Vanessa Ferrari (Ita) 12.700
19 March 2011
World Cup Paris
Ana Porgras, Diana Chelaru and Sandra Izbasa will compete at the World Cup in Paris this
weekend. Only gymnasts who were finalists at the World Championships in Rotterdam were
invited and the 4 best gymnasts per apparatus from 2010.
The girls have been training extremely hard, trying to upgrade their routines and looking at the videos of news items, they have improved enormously and look very strong. Octavian Bellu explains that everything is in preparation for the Olympics in London next year, whether they compete at Europeans or any other competition. For Prosport he said: 'It's a competition in
which everybody will have to show where they are exactly in training. It's important to see the girls in competition, how they feel competing instead of being in the gym and how they adapt to the atmosphere and spectators. I will draw my conclusion after the competition.'
Results after qualification:
1. Tatiana Nabieva (Rus)- 14.483
2. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) - 14.433
3. Diana Chelaru (Rom) - 13.900
4. Jennifer Khwela (RSA) - 13.733
5. Hyunjoo Jo (Kor) - 13.500
6. Imogen Cairns (GB) - 13.833
7. Tijana Tkalcec (Cro) - 13.333
8. Paula Plichta (Pol) - 13.100
9. Ariella Kaeslin (Sui) - 6.733
10.Hiu Ying Angel Wong (HKg)- 6.667
1. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) - 15.833
2. Qiushuang Huang (Chn) - 15.466
3. Elisabeth Seitz (Ger) - 14.866
4. Tatiana Nabieva (Rus) - 14.833
5. Ana Porgras (Rom) - 13.866
6. Vasiliki Millousi (Gre) - 13.700
7. Jana Sikulova (Cze) - 13.333
8. Lauren Mitchell (Aus) - 12.966
9. Ivana Kamnikar (Slo) - 12.900
10.Jessica Lopez (Ven) - 12.336
1. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) - 15.333
2. Ana Porgras (Rom) - 14.733
3. Anna Dementyeva (Rus) - 14.700
4. Lauren Mitchell (Aus) - 14.433
5. Linlin Deng (Chn)- 14.366
6. Vasiliki Millousi (Gre) - 13.833
7. Hannah Whelan (GB) - 13.800
8. Yana Demyanchuk (Ukr) - 13.800
9. Liufang Wu (Chn) - 13.600
10.Jessica Lopez (Ven) - 13.233
1. Sandra Izbasa (Rom) - 14.933
2. Diana Chelaru (Rom) - 14.733
3. Vanessa Ferrari (Ita) - 14.300
4. Anna Dementyeva (Rus) - 13.900
5. Lu Sui (Chn) - 13.800
6. Jessica Lopez (Ven) - 13.733
7. Marta Pihan-Kulesza (Pol) - 13.166
8. Tina Erceg (Kro) - 13.066
9. Lauren Mitchell (Aus) - 13.033
10. Liufang Wu (Chn)- 12.400
11. Marine Brevet (Fra) - 12.133
12. Fiona Novak (Slo) - 11.933
10 March 2011
No Romanian gymnasts in Cottbus but they will compete in Paris
The World Cup in Cottbus, starting tomorrow, would have had a fabulous line up with Amelia
Racea, Sandra Izbasa, Diana Chelaru and Ana Porgras. The girls would have arrived on Thursday evening as the qualification competition was going to start at 14.00 on Friday, leaving them one training session. However, the organisation decided to change the schedule and
putting the qualifications forward to 10.00 on Friday, leaving the girls no time for training what
so ever so Mariana Bitang thought it was better for them to withdraw.
Ana Porgras, Sandra Izbasa and Diana Chelaru will compete in Paris (19-20 March).
28 January 2011
The sad story of a happy gymnast, Cerasela Patrascu
Prosport's journalist Mirela Basescu wrote a wonderful article about Cerasela Patrascu and here's a summary of the story and interview.
Straight after she turned 18, Cerasela Patrascu retired from gymnastics to everybody's surprise. She stayed in Deva to finish school and helps out coaching younger gymnasts.
Cerasela's story isn't about gold, about the medals and getting onto the rostrum during her 11 year and 8 month long career but it's a story about a broken dream, about the fight of a talented gymnast who tried to get back to the top of gymnastics after a serious injury and after two years, winning the fight with herself and then put an end to it. Very few people understood why she finished her career as she helped the team at Worlds in 2010 by performing on 3 apparatus: beam, vault and bars.
They are outside, high up above the town of Deva, early morning while the thick fog is still covering the city.
'I was born a talent and I died hope'
Cerasela doesn't regret having retired from gymnastics while so many think she could have still done more but she explains that she had a lot of health problems and she decided it was enough. Moreover, she wants to do something else.
From Bals, Cerasela was considered one of the most talented gymnasts of her generation, a bar specialist with an extraordinary flexibility. Cerasela: 'I wanted to be famous, to hear the National Anthem play for me, to be the best. I wanted that for myself so much. Everybody said <You can do it, you can do it!> but why if I could do it, didn't I succeed? I was born a talent but I died hope,' she teaches us a lession in reality. You can see the sorrow behind her big brown eyes, that fill themselves with tears.
Thousands of hours of training, hope and dreams, everything destroyed in one single moment. A wrong landing off bars at the European Championships in Clermont Ferrand, France and both knees badly damaged. She explains that on the 5th of April 2008, at 17.00, everything was shattered for her and it was her only disappointment in gymnastics. Cera: 'At that time they put a lock on my life and I have never found the key because I gave up physically too. Wishes, dreams, everything came to an end and I got to the point that I had nightmares about that moment,' she explains.
She isn't satisfied about what she has achieved in gymnastics, she feels she could have done more. Her dream was to win an individual medal on beam and to go to the Olympics but she doesn't have any regret that her parents took her to the gym as she doesn't lack anything and she's had the best childhood that a child could wish for.
For 2 years after the accident, she fought with herself, with weight issues. She had to grit her teeth during training but she got there in the end and competed at Worlds where she helped the team on bars, beam and vault but nothing was the same as before. She describes the last two years as a nightmare because of all the injuries and failures and wondered why this was only happening to her. She will still be involved in gymnastics, how couldn't she after being involved for so long. She would like to become a coach and if she couldn't do it for herself, then maybe she can help others to achieve their dream. Currently she's helping a group of 13-15 year olds
but also a second grade group with little ones that she helps execute their movements correctly. 'What is Cera the coach like?' 'Too good!,' she laughs.
At the moment her life doesn't differ so much as when she was a gymnast. She's still staying in the same room in Deva and goes into the gym where she used to train for the last 10 years. Now she's retired, she has a different view on things and thinks all the thousands of hours training were worth it but while she was on the team, she didn't think so, she thought it was too much work. She hasn't got any regrets as gymnastics made her the person she is today. A forgiveness with herself and to continue a dream that she will live through others, her own pupils.
She's not frustrated that she never won an individual medal as she understood that she was a team player and that she was good on two apparatus.
Does she have any regrets about gymnastics?.
Cera: 'That I tried to stick the landing at Europeans. At the training, I could never do it so I tried to do it really well in the competition, to help the team so we would win.'
She didn't want to get onto the rostrum during the medal ceremony and explains that she felt guilty that she couldn't help the team more. If she hadn't made the mistake, she would have had the second highest score on bars and would have qualified for the event final.
Asked how she can sum up her career in three words she answers disappointment, satisfaction and appreciation and since she's retired she has learnt to be more realistic, to pay more attention to the people around her and she has matured so much since she retired.
Cera won two important medals with the Romanian team: gold at Europeans in 2008 and bronze at Worlds in 2007 and the sports arena in Stefanesti will carry the name Cerasela Patrascu in the spring.
About her family she admits that she loves her parents and sister but she never showed this to them and during the difficult times, she sought their support but also from the coaches that she worked with. She acknowleges that her parents and older sister are the most important thing to her and she loves them so much. She's happy that she has a family who understands her and who lets her do what she wants, to let her make her own decisions and then support her.
All of a sudden she goes quiet and her eyes well up with tears and for a little while, she's trying to find the right words: 'In the last two years I've become estranged from my father who left for Italy to work there. I would like to ask him for forgiveness because he loves me more than anything and I haven't appreciated this. I wish from the bottom of my heart that it could be as it was before,' she sighs.
We wish Cera all the best for the future and thank her for her wonderful gymnastics. She will be missed.
Reminisce here Cerasela Patrascu photo gallery
24 October 2010
Gold for Ana on beam and silver for Diana on floor
Beam is always nerve racking to watch but Ana makes it look easy. With elegance, she moves from one element into the next. She had a little hesitation holding her leg up alongside her ear as she let her leg go but other than that, it was near perfect.
It has been 9 years since Romania won a gold medal at a World Championship when Andreea Raducan won a gold on beam in Ghent. Romania now has another queen on beam, Ana Porgras.
She doesn't let the medal go to her head though and immediately specifies that she has a lot of work ahead of her, she will learn from this experience, she will work even harder to become even better. A World Championships medal doesn't make you better, it's a medal and if you want to
win more, you'll have to work hard, maybe even more so than up to now.
In an interview for Gymmedia, Ana seemed clearly emotional, her voice wavering a tiny bit.
Ana: 'I don't have words to describe it, this medal is great. When the national anthem was playing, you think about all the work that has gone into it, the sacrifice, the work in the gym, when it was really difficult, when you think you can't go on, you think of these moments like this and you get through it all a little easier.'
1. Ana Porgras (Rom) 15,366
2. Rebecca Bross (USA) 15,223
2. Deng Linlin (China) 15,223
4. Lauren Mitchell (Aus) 15,200
5. Alicia Sacramone (USA) 15,066
6. Ana Dementieva (Rus) 13,966
7. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) 13,766
8. Yana Demyanchuk (Ukr) 13,733
On floor, Sandra Izbasa landed her second tumbling run out of bounds and also landed on the line with her third tumbling. She was devasted, she sat crying for quite a while and one would have definitely wished her a better comeback. She seems to be so unlucky at Worlds on floor as she hasn't won a World's floor title yet. Her comeback was amazing and we wish her the very best for next years Worlds in Tokyo.
Diana Chelaru did really well. She stood waiting to begin, with her hand on her shoulder where she's probably got a lucky charm sewed into her leotard, something Steliana Nistor used to do
too. She performed a good routine, only had a slight step to the side after her flick triple twist.
She received the same score as Mustafina. Diana sat, chatting to Ana Porgras, still holding her shoulder for good luck. Unfortunately the gold medal was snatched away by Lauren Mitchell, who to everyone's surprise, won the gold medal.
For Aegerpress, Diana said: 'I knew I was prepared. I didn't look at the results table or at my competitors, I only thought of the job that I had to do. The coaches have helped us so much
but we have worked really hard, we put our soul into it. We wanted to show clean routines and after that, the difficulty will be added.'
1. Lauren Mitchell (Aus) 14.833
2. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) 14.766
2. Diana Chelaru (Rom) 14.766
4. Alexandra Raisman (USA) 14.716
5. Sui Lu (Chn) 14.660
6. Vanessa Ferrari (Ita) 14.600
7. Sandra Izbasa (Rom) 13.983
8. Ksenia Afanaseva (Rus) 12.700
23 October 2010
Ana Porgras finishes 5th and Raluca Haidu 9th
Ana Porgras competed well in the AA, doing her routines without making big mistakes. It's a shame she lacks the big difficulty (except for on beam) on the apparatus but once she's added elements to her routines, she will be right in contention for an all-around medal.
Ana was happy with her 5th place, considering that only a few months ago, she was injured, had her leg in a plaster cast and obviously couldn't train. Looking back, she admits that she made a few mistakes and if she hadn't made them, she could have finished a little bit higher in the rankings. She is very happy she didn't encounter any falls in the 4 days that she has been competing which gives her a lot of confidence.
Looking ahead to next years Worlds in Tokyo, Ana will be better prepared than now with routines that are at the same level as her competitors of the Rotterdam worlds: 'After these worlds, I will have a better training period as I'm healthy. I don't have a good vault and I need to work on vault and floor a lot to be able to catch up with the girls. Because of my injury, I couldn't train as I wished and you could see that. I can also get a little better on beam and bars where I can improve things to perfection but first of all I need to increase the SV on vault and floor to be able to become a champion. I need to learn these elemnts soon and to fix them so I can compete them.'
Raluca Haidu did well and redeemed herself for the fall off beam, staying on this time with her tucked full. She did however make a mistake on bars but seeing that she's only 15, this will be a huge experience for her which will help her to become a better gymnast. She acknowledges that a period of a lot of work lies ahead of her to get her routines increased in value but also to work on being more certain and getting more belief.
1. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) VT 15.666; UB: 15.300; BB: 15.033; FX: 15.033 Total: 61.032
2. Yuan Jiang (Chn) VT: 14.833; UB: 15.533; BB: 15.066; FX: 14.566 Total: 59.998
3. Rebecca Bross (USA) VT: 14.700; UB: 14.933; BB: 14.100; FX: 15.233 Total: 58.966
5. Ana Porgras (Rom) VT: 13.966; UB: 14.466; BB: 15.433; FX:14.300 Total: 58.165
9. Raluca Haidu (Rom) VT: 14.666; UB: 13.400; BB: 14.466; FX: 13.800 Total: 56.332
21 October 2010
Romania finishes 4th in the team final
The team final unfolded yesterday and it promised to be a massive competition but it finished up being a splatfest of both the Russians and Chinese and also the American team encountered a messed up floor routine. Dementieva and Nabieva fell off bars, Nabieva even fell twice and the Chinese messed up bars too, normally their strongest apparatus! Jiang fell and then Huang couldn't continue after her Pak and came to a standstil on the lower bar.
Mattie Larson from the USA messed up her floor routine by not performing one of the planned acrobatic skills and all three Americans were extremely lucky to stay on beam, Alicia Sacramone's foot was completely off and the other foot was only half on!!
All the more disappointing for the Romanian team who didn't encounter any falls and did a very good job but finished up without a medal. It must be somewhat bitter for them that Ana Porgras performs a good routine on bars (14.466), has a bit of a low landing but doesn't score higher
than Huang who messed up her routine completely (14.750).
Gabi Dragoi performed as a trooper, having problems in the qualification, she now performed a good routine with the planned 1.5 turn to Jaeger and a good Gienger.
On beam, Sandra Izbasa started for the Romanians and performed a solid routine, with a huge punch front but she had a small wobble after her pirouette and she wasn't completely round after her triple twist dismount.
Ana Porgras is of a class of her own on beam and it looks easy when she shows off her skills like
a beautiful free walk over into Sheep jump, back handspring, back handspring, layout as solid as
a rock but she did endure a wobble on her side somi. ( 15.066)
Diana Chelaru looks like a completely different gymnast compared to a few months ago. She is positive and performs so well under pressure, and she showed off a good floor routine, starting with a high double layout for a 14.773.
Ana performed beautifully, she stuck her full in, had a beautiful switch ring to switch half but was only rewarded with a 14.100 to everybody's amazement. Not sure what the heavy deduction was for at all.
Sandra Izbasa was up last and she nailed her opening tumbling pass, a super high full in but unfortunately she landed out of bounds with one foot on her last series, a 2.5 to front full and looked very upset afterwards. (14.200) She sat on a chair with ice on her ankle so fingers crossed she didn't injure herself.
All three Romanians vaulted extremely well and it shows that they have been working very hard. Tiny Raluca Haidu did a super job on her DTY for a 14.866, and Sandra and Diana both scored a 14.700 for their DTY's.
After the competition, Ana Porgras said for Aegerpress that she felt that they had fulfilled their goal and that they had a good competition but that the problem with the difficulty remains and that they need to learn from this experience. A difficult period will follow, it also depends on each individual gymnast but she hopes that next year things will be better.
Raluca Haidu said that she was happy that she performed a good vault and that it was better than at Europeans as she progressed on other apparatus too.
Diana Chelaru specified that she wasn't interested in the score and the place that they finished but she was happy that they all did a good job and that they competed without mistakes (falls). They will work on the difficulty.
Gabi Dragoi wanted to redeem herself after making mistakes in qualifications and she did.
The entire final left one a little bemused afterwards and wouldn't it be time to change this ridiculous format 6-3-3 back to a proper team competition 6-6-5 because let's be honest, this format looks more like a circus act than gymnastics.
The code is so biased towards bars and somewhat to vault, that you can have one Olympic Champion who has a 7.4 SV on bars and another Olympic Champion who has a 6.0 SV on floor. It doesn't need a mathmatician to work out that any team who has top bar workers, has an
extreme advantage as the code doesn't allow for a 7.4 SV on floor, no matter how good you are.
Surely things need to be evened out more if they are going to stick to this horrible format.
On the Official Romanian Federation website, you'll find beautiful photos by our friend Tanya Schoenmaker. Go and check it out!
1. Russia 175.397
2. USA 175.196
3. China 174.781
4. Romania 173.096
Breakdown of the Romanian scores:
Vault: Haidu: 14.866; Chelaru 14.700; Izbasa 14.700;
Bars: Haidu: 13.700; Porgras: 14.466; Dragoi: 14.066
Beam: Izbasa: 14.333; Porgras: 15.066; Dragoi: 14.133
Floor: Porgras: 14.133; Chelaru: 14.733; Izbasa: 14.200
19 October 2010
The girls are getting ready for the team finals. In the meantime, the coaches have picked 3 gymnasts for each apparatus:
Bars: Haidu, Porgras and Dragoi
Beam: Izbasa, Porgras, Dragoi
Floor: Porgras, Chelaru, Izbasa
Vault: Chelaru, Haidu, Izbasa
Romania is in the same group as the USA. On floor, the Americans will go up before the
Romanians but the Americans vault last.
For romgym.ro, the Official Romanian Federation site, Sandra Izbasa appeared optimistic and is convinced that Romania will get onto the rostrum. She wanted to start on bars and explains that her teammates have to get used to this format of competition. She says that anything can happen with 3 up 3 scores count. She doesn't really understand why people are saying it's going to be more difficult than it was at Worlds in Aarhus in 2007 because it's always difficult but she feels that Romania has a strong team too and she always sees Romania on the podium.
Sandra is in the floor final and has the most difficult routine but that doesn't automatically mean that she is going to win a medal. Sandra: 'I need to work very hard on the landings. It's hardly been a year ago since my injury and I had to learn how to land again in a very short period of
time. The apparatus here are very hard. I have the most difficult floor routine but I have to perform it clean to be able to get on the rostrum. For a small step, the deduction is 3 tenths!'
Diana Chelaru said after the training yesterday that she hopes everything will go well, that she sleeps well and that she will be in good shape. She doesn't think the competition is going to be very difficult.'
Ana Porgras explains that they are very well prepared and it's important to be strong, to do their routines well and the team which stays on the apparatus most, will get onto the podium.
17 October 2010
Octavian Bellu decided not to be on the podium with the girls and one could see him coach them from the stands and let the other coaches handle it. The other coaches, Lili Cosma, Lucian Sandu and Marius Vantila, know the girls well after being with them for years and know how to communicate with them, how they react and how to respond. You can not build a relationship
like that in 3 months time.
For Aegerpress, he explains that after 2 and a half months of preparation, the girls have competed to their ability and to not forget that 2 and a half months ago, most of the girls were trying to recover from injuries.
He says that losing Amelia Racea to a strained muscle in her back, was a loss and they didn't want to force her to compete as she could injure herself even more.
That having Sandra Izbasa back on the team is an enormous help as she can motivate the younger girls during the competition, she inspires them and encourages them. With Sandra alongside them, they have much more confidence, faith and courage. After all, she is an Olympic Champion.
He's witnessed, however, how some of the girls rise to their ability during the competition and perform good routines but others, who do well in training, are negatively affected by the nerves of the competition so for him it's very difficult to make any predictions about the outcome of this competition.
He is going to see what the difference is between them, USA, China and Russia and then decide what they can do to prepare for the Olympics in 2 years time.
Octavian Bellu has been welcomed warmly in Rotterdam: 'They have welcomed me very warmly,
I was even honoured in the way that I was met by officials and colleagues. Maybe I have even brought something into gymnastics in the 24 years that I have been coaching as in it's turn, gymnastics has given me a lot of satisfaction. I'm in a very well known surrounding.'
The standings so far are:
1. Russia 234.521
2. China 233.778
3. USA 233.643
4. Romania 228.495
5. Great Britain 224.921
6. Australia 224.785
7. Italy 219.179
8. Japan 218.895
Ana Porgras and Raluca Haidu are qualified for the AA. Porgras qualified as 6th and Haidu as
For the apparatus finals, Diana Chelaru qualified for vault (8th) and floor (6th), Ana Porgras qualified for bars (7th) and beam (1st) and Sandra Izbasa qualified for floor as 3rd.
16 October 2010
Romania competed relatively well in qualifications
Unfortunately Amelia Racea had to withdraw due to an injury which would really hamper
Romania's scores as Racea had improved on bars tremendously.
Romania started in subdivision 3 and must have been a little nervous after seeing China post such a high team score 233.778.
They started on bars, not their most favourite apparatus. Raluca Haidu started on bars with a Gienger and a full twisting double back dismount for a 14.000
Next up was Gabi Dragoi but she started to struggle. She was supposed to do a point on to full turn but performed a 1.5 and had to improvise and did 3 1/2 giants to get back to where she was supposed to be! 13.366
Cerasela Patrascu is a beautiful bars worker, performing a beautiful Shaposhnikov, stalders and Tkatchev but then she sat down on her double front dismount, 13.300.
Ana Porgras had a clean routine and performed a stalder, 1 1/2 to Jaeger and a double layout dismount for a 14.733.
Diana Chelaru showed a Gienger and Jaeger and a double layout. Her SV was increased from 5.3 to 5.4 which earned her a 14.000.
On to beam and this is the apparatus where Romania has to make up for the lower scores on
Isn't it great to see Sandra Izbasa back into competition! She was up first but had a wobble
after her front aerial, back hand spring layout. Her triple dismount was a little short. 14.333
Cerasela Patrascu is so flexible and it shows on beam, especially in her sheep jump. She also performed a front tuck, aerial-back handspring- layout and a pike gainer dismount 14.000
Ana Porgras is in a class of her own on beam and her 2 feet back handspring to layout was huge. She showed great split leaps and her score was the best of the day so far 15.266 (SV 6.4)
Gabi Dragoi started well, tuck front, aerial back handspring layout but then crashed on a double turn. 13.400
Everything depended on Raluca Haidu now but she has been struggling in training to stick her full in. Her mount is original, variation on the Silivas mount and then comes her big skill. It looked awesome until she put her hand down and fell. She also encountered a big wobble on her switch side leap. She dismounted with a double pike for a 13.366, the lowest score of the team on beam while she should be one of the highest together with Ana as her SV is 6.0
Despite finishing last on beam, Haidu was first up on floor and showed a positive routine, triple twist, full in, 1.5 twist to double full and a stuck double pike. The crowd loved her. 14.200
Diana Chelaru tumbled a high double layout, whip to triple full, tucked full in and double tuck with a tiny step back 14.466.
Now la moment supreme, Sandra Izbasa on floor and wow did Romania miss her while she was recovering from her torn achilles! First line, a high full in, then a 1.5 roundoff triple full and a 2.5 to front full with a small bounce. SV 6.0 and a 14.776! It's great to have her back.
Next up the ballerina of gymnastics, Ana Porgras. She was very low in her first series, full in. Her second acrobatics series was perfect, a 2.5 punch front a beautiful double turn with her leg up next to her ear, a double tuck and finished with a double pike, a tiny bit low. 14.066.
Raluca Haidu started on vault with a DTY 14.633
Cerasela Patrascu performed a single Yurchenko twist 13.733
Sandra Izbasa performed a DTY!! with just a slight step to the side 14.833
Diana Chelaru DTY 14.600 but legs a little split and she also performed a second vault,
handspring with full twist in tuck position 13.433 (SV 4.8, dropped from 5.3 and not sure why)
Ana Porgras single twisting Yurchenko 13.833
Results for Romania:
VT: 57.899, UB: 56.099, BB: 56.999, FX: 57.498 Total: 228.496
Diana Chelaru: VT: 14.600, UB: 14.000, BB:-, FX: 14.466 Total: 43.066
Gabi Dragoi: VT: -, UB: 13.366, BB: 13.400, FX: -, Total: 26.766
Raluca Haidu: VT: 14.633, UB: 14.000, BB: 13.366, FX: 14.200 Total: 56.199
Sandra Izbasa: VT: 14.833, UB:-, BB: 14.333, FX: 14.833 Total: 43.932
Cerasela Patrascu: VT: 13.733, UB: 13.300, BB: 14.000, FX: -, Total: 41.033
Ana Porgras: VT: 13.833, UB: 14.733, BB: 15.266, FX: 14.066, Total: 57.989
12 October 2010
World Championships update
The World Championships in Rotterdam are on their way with the official podium training today.
The Romanian team is: Ana Porgras, Sandra Izbasa, Cerasela Patrascu, Raluca Haidu, Amelia Racea, Diana Chelaru and Gabriela Dragoi. Initially Amelia Racea was announced as being the reserve but as she looks brilliant in training, it will remain to be seen who will be the actual reserve when the competition starts.
It's great that Sandra Izbasa is back after her terrible injury. For Prosport she explained that she isn't thinking about winning a medal and just wants to help the team and see how her new floor routine will go.
Octavian Bellu explains that most of all the girls will fight against themselves as many have come back after a long break due to injury. He is looking at these girls to see the potential for 2011
Mariana Bitang is not going to be at the World Championships as coach and that will be difficult for the girls as she motivates them.
Octavian Bellu himself is also not going to be present on the podium. He will leave that up to Marius Vintila, Lili Cosma and Lucian Sandu as they have been working with the girls for the last years.
Romania is in Subdivision 3 together with Poland, Brazil and Israel.
The schedule is as following:
16 October: Qualifications Subdivision 3 13.30 - 15.15
20 October: Team final 17.00 - 19.00
22 October: AA 19.30 - 22.00
23 October: Vault and Bars final 13.00 - 17.00
24 October: Beam and Floor final 14.00 - 18.00
25 August 2010
Update Ipswich and Steliana Nistor moves to Norway
First of all many apologies for not updating the site for so long. Sometimes it's difficult to find spare time to keep the site up to date.
In the weekend of 13-15 August, the Romanian team came to Ipswich again to compete in a friendly competition against GB. Coaches Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang decided to send a team that needs experience but also needs to see how injured gymnasts were doing at the moment so Gabriela Dragoi, Cerasela Patrascu, Raluca Haidu, Daniela Andrei and Diana Trenca were chosen to compete.
It was wonderful to see Gabriela and Cerasela again and both have improved tremendously and seem to be recovering from their injuries quite well.
Gabi struggled a little bit on beam but her SV on bars was 6.0. She's working hard on bars and shows a Jaeger and Gienger in her routine, plus a lot of turning combinations on the high bar.
Cerasela still swings beautifully on bars, showing her Shaposnikova and stalder combinations and her double front somi is back in her routine. Unfortunately in Sunday's finals, she fell off bars.
Her beam routine was beautiful to watch and is packed with difficulty. She does however compensate on the dismount (Auerbach (Gainer?) piked somi) as she's still a little afraid to dismount off beam and on Sunday, Cera won the beam final which must be a huge boost for her confidence.
It was very sweet to see how she 'mothered' over her teammates, how she helped them to stay calm when they were nervous before their routine.
Raluca Haidu, who's still only 15, did well on bars and on beam but she too had a simple dismount, (tucked single somi) probably to protect her ankle. She qualified for the beam final but the coaches decided to put Diana Trenca in the final, maybe to give her more experience.
I'm not sure if this put Raluca in a not so happy mood on the Sunday or what the cause could have been for her moodswing but the smiley girl from Saturday, changed in to a tearful sad girl. She sobbed when she fell on her double Yurchenko on vault and from that moment onwards, she withdrew herself, even though she had a floor final to contend in. She stumbled a bit on her opening series double pike but showed a beautiful leap combination and she finished with a 2 1/2 twist and received a big hug from Gabi Dragoi, who tried to cheer her up a bit.
I had never seen Dana Andrei or Diana Trenca compete for that matter so I was very curious about the two gymnasts and they didn't disappoint. Dana Andrei is a very precise gymnast, she has good form on bars and is excellent on beam and floor. Her floor routine is elegant for such a young gymnast and her style of working reminded of Ana Porgras. She loves to twist and started with a triple twist and back to a 2 1/2 twist into punch front. Dana did so well, that she finished second AA, above the more experienced Haidu. On Sunday she was a bit wobbly on
beam and almost fell off on her change leap half turn and had to put her hands down after her dismount.
Diana Trenca is the shy girl of the team and on Saturday she seemed a little nervous but she performed well. On Sunday she blossomed and came out of her shell. She excelled on beam, showing a combination of free walkover to flick layout, which won her a silver medal and the crowd loved her floor routine which she performed with a smile. She started with a full in, straight back into a double tuck and her 3rd line she showed a 2 1/2 twist to punch front.
All in all I think it was a good test for the girls, a test on which they can build for up and coming World Championships.
Gabriela Dragoi: UB: 13.850; BB: 13.150 Total: 27.000
Cerasela Patrascu: VT: 13.550; UB: 13.700; BB: 13.450 Total: 40.700
Raluca Haidu: VT: 14.250; UB: 13.200; BB: 14.000; FX: 13.450 Total: 54.900
Diana Trenca: VT: 13.250; UB: 12.150; BB: 13.950; FX: 13.600 Total: 52.950
Dana Andrei: VT: 13.950; UB: 13.450; BB: 14.350; FX: 13.850 Total: 55.600
1. Hannah Whelan: VT: 13.800; UB: 13.650; BB: 14.300; FX: 13.900 Total: 55.650
2. Dana Andrei: VT: 13.950; UB: 13.450; BB: 14.350; FX: 13.850 Total: 55.600
3. Raluca Haidu: VT: 14.250; UB: 13.200; BB: 14.000; FX: 13.450 Total: 54.900
1. Imogen Cairns 13.938
1. Jennifer Pinches 13.938
3. Raluca Haidu 13.636
4. Cerasela Patrascu 11.950
5. Dana Andrei 11.913
6. Jocelyn Hunt 11.900
1. Becky Downie 14.175
2. Danusia Francis 14.100
3. Dana Andrei 13.600
4. Gabriela Dragoi 13.325
5. Jennifer Pinches 12.100
6. Cerasela Patrascu 11.825
1. Cerasela Patrascu 14.425
2. Danusia Francis 14.250
3. Diana Trenca 14.200
4. Jennifer Pinches 13.725
5. Jocelyn Hunt 13.400
6. Dana Andrei 13.050
1. Imogen Cairns 13.975
2. Dana Andrei 13.925
3. Diana Trenca 13.875
4. Jocelyn Hunt 13.625
5. Raluca Haidu 13.525
6. Laura Edwards 12.525
Surprise of the week is possibly the news reported by Prosport that Steliana Nistor had been called back by Bellu and Bitang to train with the team but she only stayed a week and then left for Norway where she is going to coach young girls. Stela, who had been to Norway to check out the possiblity and to see if she liked it there, has a contract for a year.
Her mother is looking after her rabbit while Stela is away.
15 July 2010
Claudia Voicu retires
Even before she could become the star that she had all the potential
to become, Claudia decided to retire because of knee problems. She sustained a few light injuries to her knees but she constantly complained about pain, even when she was doing basic moves.
Claudia sparkled at the junior Europeans in Clermont-Ferrand in 2008, her poise on beam was beautiful and her floor routine delightful. It's a great shame that with such a bright future, she has had to retire and we wish her all the best.
5 July 2010
Nicolae Forminte is back!
After resigning a month ago as headcoach, Nicolae Forminte changed his mind and is back with
the National team who are currently training in Izvorani.
For Prosport he declared that he invested 5 years of hard work with the team as a 'soldier' for
the Federation and that the team was the most important now. He's waiting to see in what kind of way he can be of any help.
Anca Grigoras explained that Forminte came back because he's found peace within himself and
it's up to him how he fits in but she thinks he will be a good member of the team that has been formed. He's a (vault?) specialist and they need the very best.
The team is staying in Izvorani all summer instead of going to the sea side like they do every
year. Anca Girgoras explained that there is a lot of work to be done and the time to Worlds is very short. After the Europeans the girls had a break, some of them were injured so they can't lose any time.
The first test will be in a competition against Great Britain in Ipswich from the 12-15th of August.
24 June 2010
Anamaria Tamarjan is thinking about retiring
Anamaria has been struggling with injuries for quite some time and has been thinking of retiring
for a while now. She stayed in Deva to solve school issues.
The gymnast from Ploiesti underwent an operation at the start of the year to remove a cyst on her left knee after she had keyhole surgery on her right knee at the end of 2009 in which they diagnosed a chipped meniscus.
Anca Grigoras explained for Prosport: 'It's normal that Ana is thinking of retiring because of the injuries and operations. The recovery time was really long, she matured, everything changed and she had to face problems that all girls at her age have to confront. We hope that she has the strength to get through it and come back to us.'
Anca Grigoras also added that the door is always open for Anamaria just in case she changes her mind and that they will welcome her back.
The Romanian Gymnastics Federation has launched a new site which looks brilliant. It has the latest news, photos etc. It's lovely that they have included photos of the former gymnastics stars like Silivas, Dobre, Szabo, Ponor, Sofronie etc.
Click on the link to view the site HERE
17 June 2010
Diana Chelaru injured
Diana Chelaru has injured her left hand during training on bars. Anca Grigoras declared for
Prosport: 'It was an ordinary transition on bars and she hit her finger on the bar. It's a
metacarpal fracture and we are waiting to hear if they are going to put it into plaster or use a splint.'
10 June 2010
Good start for Trenca, Bellu and Bitang start coaching
Diana Trenca and Dana Andrei competed at the Challenge International 2010 in Belgium last weekend and both did quite well. Diana Trenca won the competition (52.650) and Dana Andrei finished third (51.900) as she fell off beam.
In the meantime, things have started to change for the National team. They have moved to Izvorani, near Bucharest now and the girls have had their first training session under the
guidance of Bellu and Bitang.
A little worrying is the sight of Raluca Haidu, who is on crutches and has the bottom half of her leg in a kind of splint.
Prosport had a chat with Sandra Izbasa and asked her whether she was nervous for this new phase in her gymnastics career. She explained that she's not nervous at all and that a training session is a training session and they will work the same amount, if not more. She is a little worried about the fact that she needs help, especially on floor and that she counted on Mr. Forminte and it's difficult for her on her own. She will miss his help because he was alongside her all these years.
Sandra is working on three apparatus, floor, beam and vault where she is training elements but not linked to the artistic movements yet. Her training program is individualised so she can take things slow and not force anything.
She has never worked with Bellu and Bitang before. She only had an evaluation by the both of them when she was in the junior team at Onesti. She was only 15 years old back then and had a lot of emotions as the coaching couple were famous all over the world and there they were in front of her. She's more mature now and everything depends on how much you want to work to reach the top and she hopes that they can help the team where they need help and that it will be good for everyone.
Mr. Bellu has said that you're the leader of the team..... Sandra: 'I'm honoured that he has said this, it's a big responsibility and I hope that it will pay off. It's true that in the last year I haven't been much of a leader in the gym, during training, as the accident messed it all up but I hope that bit by bit, everything will be as it used to be.'
About her wish that Mr. Forminte might come back she says that she hopes very much he will do so as they need his help greatly, they are used to him being there and it will be very difficult
if all of a sudden he's not there anymore. He created the team since 2005 and they had good results with him.
A new face in the gym is Corina Ungureanu, who wishes to compete again at the age of 29, she could be an example for the other girls, explains Bellu. He also adds: 'I can only evaluate as we need to get to know the girls better, to see each girl that is here, what they want to do and if their wish corresponds with our wish so we can work the best possible way.'
6 June 2010
Forminte has nothing against Bellu and Bitang
For Mediafax, Nicolae Forminte explained the following about his decision and his opinion about Romanian gymnastics and Bellu and Bitang.
'I have nothing against Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang. I am the last person who would
dispute their merits, most of all because I was part of their team for a long period of time.
When I took over, you would have had to be half unconscious not knowing what was expected from you. I think that I have suffered a major injustice. After Europeans, I knew that this would happen. A training camp in Izvorani followed in which a lot of stress accumulated. All the big names of Romanian gymnastics were there but this action was taken without my knowledge. It was, however, obvious to me. I only reproach the fact that I have tried too much to please all parties.'
'My decision has nothing to do with pride, when you weigh the good aspects of Romanian gymnastics, you can't let pride get in the way. I acknowledge that I am proud, haughty,
dignified, but without these qualities you don't have the right to wear the national colours.
Every person makes comprimises with dignity but to a certain point. The team is more valuable than the team I took over 5 years ago because I didn't have one senior gymnast in the team. I am satisfied with what I have achieved in the last 5 years and finishing third in an official competition means something. I think that I have contributed to the 81 medals as a technical team coach as well as headcoach. Moreover, I have contributed to the 20 medals won by juniors too.'
'If I am wanted, there is still a door open for communication to continue in a collaboration. If
they don't find a method to convince me to continue, my resignation will remain in effect. The only one who has contacted me up until now is Mariana Bitang and I have received an email from Anca Grigoras. However, family obligations make that I can't stay at CS Farul earning 250 euros
5 June 2010
Summary of recent news
As Octavian Bellu was involved in the preparation for the Olympics in London 2012, working for
the Romanian Olympic Committee, he explained for Prosport that he tried to help as much as he could, having worked in gymnastics for so many years, he responded positively to the request of the Romanian Federation to work as a coach again, for a long or short period of time, whatever they consider best.
About the discussion who will be the new headcoach, Bellu acknowledges that there's a hot debate going on about this topic but he stipulates that they are a team, Mariana Bitang, Anca Grigoras and himself. He doesn't know what is going to happen or who is going to be added to the team.
About the new training system he explained that each coach will have more responsibility, co-ordinate the program for each apparatus, there are training programs and goals. They will not take over their work but join an existing team.
Bellu will be where the team is so when the girls are in Deva, he will be there and when they are
in Izvorani, he will go there, they will accompany them and as there are three people in this
team, it's easier for them to divide tasks.
Bellu explains that he hopes that Nicolae Forminte reconsiders his decision to resign as a coach because he feels he is still needed and has done a very good job on vault. I wasn't out to be headcoach again, I've done that for 15 years.
Bellu's explanation about the amount of gymnasts that are injured at the moment is that they will
have to analyse and try and find out why they get injured so quickly as he doesn't think they are more fragile than other gymnasts but he acknowleges that it's a major problem.
As Bellu has been through 8 changes of the code, he's not worried about it. He has read in a courageous analysis done by Forminte, that the last Europeans were a failure, in the contrary of others who said things were fine because they won a gold medal. What has been has been, I'm going to look ahead.
He has the hope that Romanian gymnastics can win more gold and thinks the potential is still there.
Nicolae Forminte, who is currently in Constanta, his home town, said that he doesn't exclude a possibility of a collaboration with the Federation. For Prosport he said: 'I'm looking at the position of the Federation, in the press statements, and because no one officially has phoned me to tell me anything, I would like to keep the door open for a collaboration. Mrs. Bitang phoned me yesterday to tell me that she didn't wish for my resignation and I believe her.'
Forminte will try and find a place in the training system/schedule that is being set up.
Forminte: 'Maybe I made a rash decision and after thinking about what has happened, to wait and see what project they are going to put into place, maybe I can help. I'll think about that.'
2 June 2010
Forminte handed in his resignation
Nicolae Forminte has handed in his resignation as head coach yesterday. He felt that there
wasn't a place for him with the team due to the fact that the Federation sought the advice of Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang and Forminte felt as if they didn't have faith in his work anymore.
He does leave satisfied as he feels he leaves good gymnasts behind. After all, Forminte picked up the pieces in 2005 when Belu and Bitang left suddenly.
Bellu and Bitang, who were initially just asked to lend a helping hand, have been offered the job
to lead the team and Anca Grigoras will be technical director.
For Prosport, Adrian Stoica, head of the Federation, explained: 'The intention was to correct a few things that didn't work with the girls. I considered it necessary to strengthen our forces and to ask those who can support us.
Mariana Bitang explained: 'We have done nothing but to respond to the request of the Federation, we came to help and support. I regret Nicu Forminte's reaction, I didn't wish for this to happen, we only wanted to do something good, to help. She also adds that they will need two or three days to organise things and if it's necessary, they will go back to Deva.
Both Bitang and Belu still have job obligations so they will need to rearrange things. At the moment, training in Izvorani, is not a possibility as the centre is full.
For Gazeta Sporturilor, Mariana Bitang explained that she didn't know much about the gymnasts at the moment as she hasn't attended a training session. She watched them during the Internationals of Romania on tv. What needs to be sorted out is the health of the gymnasts and to find out why they get injured so often. They have done an analysis last week which needs to be looked at and then they will see what to do.
She also stipulates that if the Romanian team finished 3rd at Europeans, at Worlds they won't
win a medal.
On Romanian tv, Sandra Izbasa seemed clearly upset and shocked about the entire ordeal. She explained: 'It was shocking news for me. I'm not afraid to work with new coaches, I have had other coaches and I can adapt to all conditions. I have tried to talk to Mr. Forminte so he would change his mind but it was in vain. I'm not retiring, I'm trying to do a good job and a helping hand is welcome.'
8 May 2010
Summary of European Championship
Held at the NIA, the competition started off with the Junior teams competing for the medals in a team competition and qualification for the AA. It was going to be a long day as the competition started at 9.30 in the morning and would go on until 10 in the evening.
The Romanians, competing with Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, Diana Rusu, Beatris Margarit and Madalina Neagu, were in the second subdivision and started on vault and did reasonably well with Larisa Iordache posting the highest score 13.875. On bars, the girls have improved tremendously and tiny Diana Bulimar (they call her Didi) scored the highest score, a 13.650.
On beam, still their strongest apparatus, all 5 girls competed but unfortunately Bulimar and Iordache fell off, especially Iordache was very upset with herself and consoled by coach Lacramioara Filip, a former member of the Romanian senior team who competed at Worlds in
1989. Lulu, as she's called, coaches the juniors together with her husband and former aerobics champion Cristi Moldovan and they are doing a great job. The atmosphere in the junior team is superb.
Madalina Neagu, who had been injured and out of competition for almost a year, proved to be very stable on beam and scored a 13.950, the highest score in the team which earned her a place in the apparatus finals.
They were also a delight to watch on floor, especially Iordache and Bulimar who got the crowd going and they were cheered along by their parents, who came from Romania to watch their daughters compete, dressed in Romanian hats, big 'gloves' and waving flags. It was so nice to
see how much they enjoyed it and how much the girls appreciated their parents being there.
It was going to be a long wait to see the result and where the team finished as the Russians were in the last subdivision.
After the 3rd subdivision, Giulia Leni, one of the Italian juniors was walking through the halls of the arena crying her eyes out, talking on her mobile phone. She had fallen off beam and
obviously thought the chance of a bronze medal was out of the window. She seemed
inconsolable and her teammates didn't look that much happier either. Their greatest rival would
be France, and they competed in the last subdivision so it would be a long wait for them.
The Russians were in a class of their own, scoring such high scores, mainly in the 14's on all of the apparatus. Grishina even scored a 15.250 on bars! and tiny Komova performed a 2.5 twist on vault, giving her a SV of 6.5
On bars, however, they were lucky that the format only counted 3 scores as Siderova only scored a 12.000 and Malikova scored a 12.500.
They were cheered along very very loudly (my ears are still ringing) by the Russian seniors. They were shouting that loud, that Maria Paseka burst out in laughter during her floor routine.
At the end of a very long day in a very very warm arena, the Russians won, Romania was second and Italy 3rd. Giulia Leni, who had been in tears, couldn't stop smiling now.
It was a great result for the Romanian team as 2 years ago, they finished 4th and also considering that they had to make changes at the last moment as Anamaria Baicu and Maria Balea were injured just before Europeans.
The individual scores of the Romanians:
Diana Bulimar VT: 13.250; UB: 13.650; BB: 13.200; FX: 14.150 Total: 54.250
Larisa Iordache VT: 13.875; UB: 13.275; BB: 13.625; FX: 14.775 Total: 55.550
Diana Rusu VT: 13.575; UB: 9.925; BB: 13.150; FX: 13.600
Beatris Margarit VT: 13.625; BB: 12.850; FX: 14.075
Madalina Neagu UB: 12.650; BB: 13.950
Senior team qualifying competition
The Russians started in the 2nd subdivision. A bit strange was that there were only 3 gymnasts competing, so 3 up, 3 scores count, rather than 5 gymnast compete, 3 scores count. In my opinion, the format of the juniors is much more interesting to watch as it feels more like a team effort.
Strangely enough, Semenova didn't do bars because she was struggling with injuries and the coach felt it was better not to force things, but she helped her teammates chalk up. It wasn't all plain sailing for the Russians on bars as Kurbatova only scored 11.425 but it was well compensated by Mustafina's 15.200 and Nabieva's 14.825.
Mustafina scored 14.750 on beam with a beautiful routine, what an elegant gymnast she is. Semenova competed on beam but fell off and only scored a 13.600 and 13.700 on floor. It seems like she has grown and she still has to come to terms with that. The Russians were solid on vault so now it was up to the rest of the teams to try and match that.
If the Russian seniors could scream loud, the French juniors are masters! Blimey what a noise!
So, the Romanians were in the same group as the French and the British gymnasts, great atmosphere as the crowd got well behind the home nation.
The Romanians started on bars and did fairly well, with Ana Porgras scoring a 14.075.
The British gymnasts were on floor and Beth Tweddle scored a 14.850 for good tumbling but
there isn't much choreography to the routine.
The Romanians posted the highest team total on beam, with Raluca Haidu scoring a 14.500, Amelia Racea a 13.900 and Ana Porgras a 14.950. Ana is so special to watch on beam, she is
like a true ballerina, her poise is exceptional.
On floor Raluca Haidu fell so she only achieved a 12.600. Diana Chelaru had the highest score, a 14.150.
In the meantime, the British gymnasts were struggling on beam, with their highest score only being 13.475 for Beckie Downie.
After the qualifying competition, Russia was in the lead with 168.325, Romania 2nd 166.800 and Great Britain 3rd with 165.300. It was going to be a very interesting final.
The individual scores of the Romanians:
Amelia Racea VT: 14.250; UB: 13.825; BB: 13.900; FX: 13.625 Total 55.600
Raluca Haidu VT: 13.525; UB: 13.100; BB: 14.500; FX: 12.600 Total: 53.725
Ana Porgras UB: 14.075; BB: 14.950
Diana Chelaru: VT: 14.300; FX: 14.150
If there would have been an AA, Amelia Racea would have won as she had the highest total
score. Ana Porgras had the highest score on beam.
Larisa Iordache had to start her AA competition on floor and did so with a delightful routine. (14.200).
Victoria Komova, daughter of Vera Kolesnikova who won gold with the team in 1985, had to start on beam and was a bit wobbly. (14.100) but Anastasia Grishina, who qualified as first, nailed her bars routine took the lead again with a 15.225.
Diana Bulimar started on vault and scored 13.125.
Larisa, who fell off beam in the team competition, was clearly nervous before the start and Lulu tried to calm her down which worked as she worked very positively and got the highest score on beam of the day with a good double pirouette and a triple twist dismount for a 14.675. After she landed her dismount, Larisa ran down the steps and jumped into the arms of her coach.
Tiny Diana Bulimar seemed so scared before her bars routine, standing on the podium sighing and closing her eyes to keep focused. She was encouraged from the side by her teammates who kept on shouting 'Come on Didi! Come on!' and she performed a good and tidy routine. Still showing
the nerves on her face when she was finished, coach Monica Micu said 'Didi, you managed it didn't you?' and Didi answered 'Yes! and beamed her lovely smile and relaxed. (12.575)
Komova was impressive on floor, her double arabian front is soaring high and it earned her the highest score on floor of the day (14.425)
Grishina struggled on beam and fell on her round-off tucked full (13.400) but had points to spare because of her high bars score to keep ahead of the Romanians.
Larisa vaulted a double twisting Yurchenko for a 13.625 and Didi showed a solid beam routine to start with but then almost fell off on her spin! and after her beam routine, walked off shaking her head as if to say 'Why on earth did I do that!' (14.150)
Komova had a massive vault with a 6.5 SV, a 2.5 twisting Yurchenko. She had 3 steps back on landing but still scored a 14.525 because of the vault's difficulty. She even straps her knees in to manage the vault as it's impressive for such a tiny gymnast.
Larisa finished the competition on bars and was going well until the Giegner where she bent her knees (13.150).
Tiny Didi finished on floor and got the crowd going again with her fast tumbling and her nice dancing performed with a smile for a 14.325, the 3rd best score on floor of the day.
Komova went to bars and nailed the routine that she fell off with during the team competition
and got the highest score of the day, 15.325 and Grishina finished on vault with a 13.950.
All in all a very interesting competition to watch with inventive routines and even though the girls are so tiny, they already have a certain degree of elegance.
1. Victoria Komova (Rus) VT: 14.525; UB: 15.325; BB: 14.100; FX: 14.425 Total: 58.375
2. Anastasia Grishina (Rus) VT: 13.950; UB: 15.225; BB: 13.400; FX: 14.375 Total: 56.950
3. Larisa Iordache (Rom) VT: 13.650; UB: 13.150; BB: 14.675; FX: 14.200 Total: 55.675
4. Diana Bulimar(Rom) VT: 13.125; UB: 12.575; BB: 14.150; FX: 14.325 Total: 54.175
During training, with Ana Porgras and Raluca Haidu already complaining of ankle pain, the team got another huge scare as anchor for the team Diana Chelaru, fell off beam during training and
hit the apparatus with her ribs, giving the coaches a shock. It seemed Diana was hurting all over but it proved to be just the shock of a nasty fall and she pulled herself together and continued training.
Little did they know then that the competition wouldn't bring them much more luck either. The Romanians started their competition on beam and Raluca Haidu, first year senior, fell off on her full in but also fell on her switch leap half so in a matter of seconds, the competition was over before it had even started as she only scored a 12.100 and this is the apparatus that the Romanians have to make up for their lower scores on bars!
Amelia Racea scored a 14.100 for a good routine and Ana Porgras was absolutely beautiful to watch, nailing one element after the other but after her double piked dismount, she stood for a second but as she tried to walk away, she limped and she couldn't walk down the stairs on her own, coaches Forminte and Cosma had to carry her down. Ana scored the highest score of the day 14.800 but it was doubtful if she would be able to continue the competition.
Cerasela Patrascu, who didn't compete, tried to calm Haidu down, constantly talking to her and adjusting her make up and trying to make the tiny gymnast laugh and relax.
The Russians were strong on floor with Anna Myzdrikova landing a whip to double Arabian (14.475) while elegant Mustafina scored a 14.400 and Semenova a 14.150 to put the Russians in the leadover Great Britain who were on vault.
Raluca Haidu redeemed herself and performed a better floor routine than in qualifications (13.325) while Amelia Racea scored a 13.650 and Diana Chelaru a 14.200.
The Russians showed 3 good vaults, all double twisting Yurchenko's although Kurbatova wasn't completely round so was marked out of a 1.5.
Bars and Great Britain's chances for a medal would surely depend on how Beth Tweddle would do on her favourite apparatus. The pressure for her must have been enormous but she performed
her bars routine superbly for a 15.825, the highest score of the day. The cheers of the crowd were deafening!
The Romanians were solid on vault with the highest score by Diana Chelaru (14.200) but where trailing quite a substantial amount and were also finishing on their weakest event, bars but
having said that, Great Britain had to still go to beam.
Kurbatova showed she is capable on bars after the disaster in the qualifications and scored a 13.800 while Mustafina was super on bars, with a toe-on Shaposhnikova-half and a Tkatchev and Jaeger for the second highest score on bars 14.900 but now it was Tatiana Nabieva who struggled on bars, losing her way on the top bar after a stalder and she had to jump off
and scored 13.250.
Great Britain started very very tentively on beam with Nicole Hibbert scoring only a 12.925,
Niahm Rippin a little better with a 13.100 so it all depended on how Beckie Downie would get through her routine and the thing is, she has struggled in the past. Not this time, she worked very strong and positively and refused to give away too many points and scored a 14.100, to the delight of the crowd.
The Romanians were still in a bit of doubt whether Ana would do bars or not as she had to land on her already so painful ankle but after warming up on bars, Ana was encouraged and decided
to continue for the team. Raluca Haidu started off and scored a 13.150, Amelia Racea bettered the score with a 13.925 and Ana Porgras scored 13.700 but was clearly in pain on her landing.
The Russians did their job on beam with Mustafina scoring the highest for the Russians with a 14.175 and then it was up to Great Britain to see what they would do on floor and yet again, it depended on Beth Tweddle who came through for them yet again. How she kept her concentration with the crowd going wild after each tumbling run, I don't know but she got a massive 14.900 giving Great Britain the silver, their first European Team medal in European gymnastics history.
The Romanian girls seemed very disappointed, hardly managing a smile on the rostrum.
1. Russia 169.700
2. Great Britain 168.275
3. Romania 164.975
Scores for the Romanians:
Ana Porgras UB 13.700; BB: 14.800 Total 28.500
Amelia Racea VT: 14.100; UB: 13.975; BB: 14.100; FX: 13.650 Total: 55.825
Diana Chelaru VT: 14.250; UB: 14.200; Total: 28.450
Raluca Haidu VT: 13.625; UB: 13.150; BB: 12.100; FX: 13.325 Total: 52.200
Larisa Iordache did very well in the appartus finals and finished 4th on vault, 2nd on beam and first on floor together with Grishina.
Diana Bulimar won a bronze medal on bars.
1. Victoria Komova (Rus) 14.950
2. Maria Paseka (Rus) 14.275
3. Erica Fasana (Ita) 13.912
4. Larisa Iordache (Rom) 13.625
6. Diana Rusu (Rom) 13.725
1. Anastasia Grishina (Rus) 15.375
2. Victoria Komova (Rus) 15.200
3. Diana Bulimar (Rom) 13.575
1. Victoria Komova (Rus) 14.900
2. Larisa Iordache (Rom) 14.575
3. Tess Moonen (Ned) 13.975
6. Madalina Neagu (Rom) 13.150
1. Larisa Iordache (Rom) and Anastasia Grishina (Rus) 14.275
3. Anastasia Siderova (Rus) 14.200
4. Diana Bulimar 14.175
Larisa said to Prosport that she expected a result like this and she worked very hard to achieve this success. She was a little bit nervous at the start but it wore off in the course of the competition. She wasn't scared of the Russians because she knows what she can do herself and she continued to fight. She felt she could have done better than bronze in the all-around competition and she will continue to train hard so she can do better next time.
In the Senior apparatus finals Amelia Racea finished 9th in qualification but because Ana Porgras had to withdraw, she took her place and finished up with the gold! Raluca Haidu finished 3rd.
Diana Chelaru did well on floor but went OOB which cost her a silver medal.
Afterwards, for Prosport she declared that she took full advantage of the chance. Ana Porgras encouraged her and told her to do her job and not be nervous. Amelia feels very happy and said that she's worked 9 years for this and it gives her a lot of encouragement.
1. Ekaterina Kurbatova (Rus) 14.287
2. Youna Dufournet (Fra) 14.275
3. Tatiana Nabieva (Rus) 14.150
4. Diana Chelaru (Rom) 14.062
6. Amelia Racea (Rom) 13.662
1. Beth Tweddle (Gbr) 15.875
2. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) 15.050
3. Nataliya Kononenko (Ukr) 14.750
1. Amelia Racea (Rom) 14.400
2. Aliya Mustafina (Rus) 14.375
3. Raluca Haidu (Rom) 13.950
1. Beth Tweddle (Gbr) 14.825
2. Anna Myzdrikova (Rus) 14.325
3. Diana Chelaru (Rom) 14.125
5. Amelia Racea (Rom) 13.700
Full results for both juniors and seniors Here
31 March 2010
Test competitions for the Romanian juniors and seniors
The first test competition was in Lilleshall, Great Britain where both Romanian teams won.
In the junior competition Romania won (Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, Anamaria Baicu, Maria Balea, Beatris Margarit and Diana Rusu) second Germany and 3rd GB. Diana Bulimar won the AA.
In the senior competition Romania was first with a total of 221.850 versus GB 221.600
Diana Chelaru won the AA competition with 56.800, before Ana Porgras (56.050) and Niamh
Rippin GBR (54.650)
For Prosport, Nicolae Forminte said that it was a good test and that the girls know now where they are in terms of preparation/training. They are still young and lack experience but they are
a good generation and they just need time.
Last weekend both teams competed in France but instead of Diana Rusu, Madalina Neagu competed in the junior team.
The Romanian juniors won (166.200) before France (160.50) and Great Britain (157,950).
Larisa Iordache won the AA (55.600) before Anne Kuhm from France (53.400) and Diana Bulimar from Romania (53.250).
The Romanian seniors also won (167.800) before France (166.550) and Diana Chelaru won her second AA competition in a row (57.550). Youna Dufournet from France was second (56.800)
and Raluca Haidu third (56.550)
The positive news is that Cerasela Patrascu competed during both meets, doing vault, bars and beam.
Ana Porgras, however, is struggling a little with a thigh injury. For Prosport she explained: 'I did
a sheep jump and I felt I pulled something (overstretched). It hurts but I try not to take any
notice of it. It's bothering me most when I do leaps because it's that precise leg that I put to
I work at around 60% of my potential at the moment so I can present all the routines I did last year.'
Ana is wearing red tape on her left thigh, a treating method that comes from kinesiology.
14 March 2010
Claudia Voica sprained her knee during training after she dismounted off bars and stepped in between the mat. Luckily it's nothing serious.
Sandra Izbasa is doing well with her recovery but is taking it step by step. Sandra's father explained for Gazeta Sporturilor that physically she's ok but mentally she still has work to do. She wonders if she deserves to be doing gymnastics. Her father explains that an injury like Sandra sustained, leaves it's marks mentally.
The Romanian team will compete in Great Britain next weekend as preparation for the European Championships held at the end of April in Birmingham. They will have a meet against Great Britain, Germany and France.
A week later they will compete in France and then from 9-11 of April, they will compete at the International Romanian Championships in Bucharest. Nicolae Forminte mentions that he would rather have 2 weeks rest in between competitions but they go where ever they are paid. He explains that this is the situation in which they have to work.
Ana Porgras, Amelia Racea, Raluca Haidu, Diana Trenca, Diana Chelaru and maybe Cerasela Patrascu will compete in Great Britain.
Tamarjan and Dragoi are doing well but both are struggling with weight gain.
Diana Bulimar, Larisa Iordache, Anamaria Baicu and Tatiana Geamparoiu competed at the International Gymnix Competition in Montreal, Canada last weekend.
Diana Bulimar finished 2nd on Vault (13.825), 4th on Bars (12.450) and 1st on Floor (13.800)
Larisa Iordache finished 2nd on Beam (14.025) and Anamaria Baicu was 5th on Beam (13.275)
22 January 2010
Prosport reports that Gabriela Dragoi and Anamaria Tamarjan have had their operation on the
12th of January in Targu Mures. Dragoi will need 2 months for rehab and Tamarjan a month and a half. Both have very little chance of competing at Europeans at the end of April but Nicolae Forminte is hoping that he can count on both of them for Worlds.
Gabriela Dragoi has been suffering from a tear in the tibia since the Olympics in Beijing and Anamaria Tamarjan had to have a cyst removed from her left knee.
After members of the National team had been in quarantaine because of Swine Flu, they are dealing with another scare as Amelia Racea has measles. She was put into quarantaine immediately and has to have a total break from training. Nicolae Forminte: 'We are waiting for the incubation time to be over and we will see if any of the other girls have been infected. We don't know how the situation is going to evolve but we have done everything to try and stop the spreading of the disease.'
With Anamaria Tamarjan, Sandra Izbasa and Gabriela Dragoi all in rehab, Europeans could mean the chance of the youngsters like Amelia Racea who's 15. Forminte: 'This break will be felt in Amelia's preparation for Europeans. We will have to rethink everything and hope that she will be able to recover. We really need her.'
15 December 2009
Sandra is back in Deva
Prosport reports that Sandra Izbasa is back in Deva, which is fabulous news. Sandra: 'It's so
good to be back, it's such a joy! Time has flown by really quickly and it seems like yesterday that I was in the hospital with my hand and foot in a plaster cast.'
Meeting up with her teammates and coaches, and being back in Deva, was very emotional for Sandra. When she walked into her room, she started to cry. She remembered with which thoughts she left and she wanted nothing more to come back. Everybody welcomed her with open arms.
Sandra gave Nicolae Forminte a bit of a fright when she climbed straight up on to the beam. He told her to get back down immediately as she's not allowed to force her foot!
Sandra: 'I'm not scared, everything that I felt after the accident has gone. I went on to all the apparatus and it's ok, even floor and whie before when I thought of floor, I felt an empty hole, now I miss doing my routine.'
Anamaria Tamarjan has had an operation on her right knee, to deal with the pinched meniscus
and is now getting ready for an operation on her left knee, where they have to remove a cyst which appeared after the accident in Stuttgart in 2007.
Nicolae Forminte: 'It will be a very difficult period for her. She will have to work so hard in coming back and you can't neglect the pain either, but I do think that she has the strength to do so.'
3 December 2009
Top Gym in Charleroi, Belgium By Nicole Citroen
As a spur of the moment kind of thing, we decided to go to Charleroi for the Top Gym
junior competition as the up and coming juniors of various countries chose to compete at this great competition.
The atmosphere is wonderful, you are welcomed by the organising committee with such enthusiasm and such warmth, it's a true delight to go there.
There was a training session on Friday the 27th of November. The Romanians Larisa Iordache and Diana Bulimar came in accompanied by Monica Micu and Cristian Moldovan, he is famous for all
the medals he won in aerobics (Trio) and now coaches the juniors together with his wife, former gymnast Lacramioara Filip. The girls and coaches relate so well together, chatting and smiling all the time. It was also nice to see that some of the aerobics moves have been added to the warm up sequence that the girls do on floor.
On to the apparatus and the training started on vault. Larisa Iordache did quite well with her vaults, it was Diana who was struggling a little bit so it was very unexpected when Larisa injured her knee during one of the landings. She just landed a little bit heavy on one leg. She fell sideways and stayed lying down on the mat. Monica and Cristi ran over to her and a shock went through the arena because Diana injured her ankle in last years Top Gym in the warming up
before the competition and couldn't compete! Surely this wouldn't happen again but now to Larisa?
Cristi shouted for an ice pack and picked Larisa up to lay her down on the mat beside the vault. She was crying and all the time he was comforting her, rubbing her shoulder and patting her on the stomach, trying to calm her down. He then picked her up and took her to the hospital for
You could clearly see this incident affected Diana. During her training session on bars, she missed her hand in a flight to the lower bar and smacked her side and ribs on the bar, which was
clearly very painful. Monica tried to calm her down, talking to her all the time.
On to beam where she fell off quite a lot during the elements and she was almost in tears. Then Larisa came back into the arena and Diana's face lit up. She walked over to Larisa and smiled and after that, she did so much better on beam, knowing that her teammate was ok and there was a chance that she would compete on the Saturday. The coaches were going to see if her knee
was swollen or not on Saturday morning. If it wasn't, Larisa would do a training session and they would see how she got on and they would make a decision after that.
Diana in the meantime was doing some physical training. The layers of carpet on the floor weren't stuck together very well in the part where she was standing and she wanted to jump up but her feet were stuck underneath a part of the carpet that was curled up so she hardly came of the floor. She looked down and laughed, explaining to the coaches what had just happened and they all laughed.
Time for the accreditation photos. Diana helped Larisa, who walked on crutches, to take her jacket off and the girls posed for the photographer. Some more stretching and off to a well earned rest.
The other gymnast that impressed was tiny Madison Kocian from America, who's only 12. She is from the same gym as Nastia Liukin and has great form in all her work. Top Gym was her first international competition.
Both Italian girls Arianna Salvi and Chiara Gandolfi looked good too, especially Arianna has a beautiful floor routine and both looked very fashionable in their legwarmers.
Scotland had sent two tiny tiny girls who compete at club level so this was a great experience
for them. It appeared that the Scottish girls and the English girls all came from the same club
but I could be wrong.
Saturday morning and of course everybody was wondering whether Larisa would be ok. The organisation must have sighed in relief when they saw her walk in, without her crutches but she still had to train. She warmed up carefully and bit by bit added more pressure on her knee. The coaches were watching her carefully, asking whether she was ok and she nodded she was.
She worked through all her routines on the apparatus, impressing on beam and floor. Things were fine so she was going to compete in the evening, which was great news. She did ice her knee after the training session, just to make sure it wouldn't start swelling all of a sudden.
While I was standing there taking photos, Diana came over to me, pointing at my press card. I wasn't really sure what she was saying to me so afterwards I asked the coach Monica what it was that she meant. Diana collects press cards etc. of all the competitions she takes part in and she was wondering if she could have mine so I promised to give it to her at the end of the day, as unfortunately we couldn't attend the competition on Sunday.
The gymnasts all came back in at around 4 in the afternoon for the official warming up as the competition was going to start at 17.30.
Larisa and Diana started on vault. After Friday's scare, Larisa did well on her full twisting Yurchenko which she nailed. The girls did 2 vaults and the highest score counted. (13.700).
Diana did a handspring somi forward. (12.750)
Madison Kocian had to start on beam and what went so well during the training sessions, didn't go according to plan in the competition. She fell off on a free front walk over and didn't really give herself enough time to compose herself as she went off straight away with her sheep jump. Her routine is packed with elements like forward somi, backwards somi, back handspring into
piked somi and she performs everything beautifully.
On to bars for the Romanians. Larisa showed a nice stalder, full turn into Tkatchev but had some problems on the lower bar, having to add some swings and turns. She finished really well with a high piked full in dismount. (11.550)
Diana had been struggling in training on bars so she looked a bit nervous but once she started, she did very well. Her form is good, legs stuck together and she showed a good stalder combination on the lower bar, high Tkatchev and a high double piked dismount. She landed and her face beamed a huge smile. (12.700)
On beam, Larisa showed a free walkover into flick to stepout layout, free cartwheel but almost fell off on her front somi but then straight after that, she performed a spot on double pirouette and finished the routine with a double twist. She had the highest SV of the field, 6.20. (14.750)
Diana has been outscoring her teammate on beam lately and her routine is absolutely packed
with difficulty, one element after the other but at the start she had a wobble after her free cartwheel and her free walkover to flick, stepout layout was not entirely connected and she fell off beam on her front somi. Her leaps and sheep jump are very high though and she also showed a nice split leap into piked back somi. (13.050)
Larisa had a little problem on floor during warming up after her 1 1/2 twist to front somi- front somi. She fell on the second front somi, looked at the coach and asked what went wrong. It's amazing to see how keen she is to get things right as she listened to what he said, nodded and took it aboard.
During her routine on Spanish music, she has lovely dance combined with difficult acrobatic skills. She started with a piked full, little stumble forwards, second series handspring to full twist, then the 1 1/2 twist to front somi front somi and she finished with a double twist. Larisa has good presentation on floor, smiling during her dance movements. (13.150) The gold medal was Larisa's.
Diana is so lightning fast on floor, it makes you smile. She too started with a piked full in, then
her second series was a flick to full twist step out to flick double somi. She fell out of her double pirouette with her leg up and stepped out of bounds after her 1 1/2 twist to punch front but she finished with a strong double piked somi. (13.050)
In the meantime, Belgium Julie Croket was creeping amongst the medal winners. She's got great choreography on floor but had to step out of bounds on her first series (full in) and almost fell on her punch layout front, she was very low. Julie, however, is a vault specialist and that's where she gained the advantage and won her a silver medal.
Madison Kocian, who started gymnastics in 2002, performed well on floor but finished with a double somi. Her routine is still a little bit on the childish side but what she does, she does very well and precise. She's certainly one to watch for the future as she won a bronze medal.
Unfortunately we couldn't make it to the Sunday competition due to travel times but this Top Gym competition is certainly a joy to visit with a lovely atmosphere all around.
1. Larisa Iordache (Rom) VT: 13.700; UB: 11.550; BB: 14.750; FX: 13.150 Total: 53.150
2. Julie Croket (Bel) VT: 14.250; UB: 13.400; BB: 12.650; FX: 12.550 Total: 52.850
3. Madison Kocian (USA) VT: 14.100; UB: 13.700; BB: 11.500; FX: 13.200 Total: 52.500
4. Lisa van den Burg (Ned) VT: 13.300; UB: 13.400; BB: 12.900; FX: 51.900 Total: 51.900
5. Diana Bulimar (Rom) VT: 12.750; UB: 12.700; BB: 13.050; FX: 13.050 Total: 51.550
6. Tess Moonen (Ned) VT: 13.300; UB: 12.200; BB: 13.450; FX: 11.850 Total: 50.700
7. Floriane Scianguetta (Bel) VT: 13.350; UB: 11.800; BB: 12.700; FX: 12.350 Total: 50.200
8. Joanna Adlerteg (Swe) VT: 13.400; UB: 13.150; BB: 11.950; FX: 11.450 Total:49.950
14 November 2009
Stuttgart World Cup - Ana wins gold on beam!
Ana did really well in the beam final, she only had a small wobble after her back somersault so
she won gold! with a 14.625. Brilliant result for her and it will definitely boost her confidence.
1. Ana Porgras (Rom) 14.625
2. Maike Roll (Ger) 13.575
3. Ksenia Semenova (Rus) 13.525
4. Luisa Galiulina (Uzb) 13.125
5. Elisabeth Seitz (Ger) 13.075
6. Valeria Maksiuta (Isr) 12.800
7. Marlies Rijken (Ned) 12.475
8. Jana Komrskova (Cze) 12.275
Unfortunately Ana didn't perform well on bars, she came off the apparatus during a turn on the low bar and scored 13.175, placing her 10th and missing the finals.
She fell off beam on her side-somi but the rest of the routine was good and she qualified in third place for the finals with a 13.575. Ksenia Semenova (Rus) qualified first with a 13.925 and Luisa Galiulina from Uzbekistan second with a 13.850.
13 November 2009
Ana Porgras and Anamaria Tamarjan are both struggling with injuries
The team has moved to Izvorani, near Bucharest for a change of scenary. Prosport reports that
3 weeks ago, Ana missed an element on beam and hit the beam with her leg and ribs. Ana: 'I
was frightened as it could have been a lot worse, that it could have meant another break. The medical test showed that it wasn't cracked, it was a relief.'
Ana: 'It still hurts but the bandage is holding it tight but I couldn't train for several days. It was terrible. I can't stay away from the apparatus.'
In order not to force things, Ana is only training on beam and bars, the apparatus on which she will compete in the last three competitions of this year. First one will be the World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany.
Next month she will turn 16 and shows a maturity that contradicts the innocent look on her face. She also knows exactly what she wants and she says that she came back from London with a
lot of experience, with the thought that anything is possible and that more training will mean more medals. She feels more mature but also more responsible in the way that she trains.
Her favourite apparatus is beam and she blames herself for falling at the World Championships
due to nerves and not paying attention. She thinks that in the future she will be able to deal
with her nerves better and that it will disappear through a lot of work. Ana: 'I'm not afraid of
these mistakes, on the contrary, it has motivated me more.'
Next year the focus is on Europeans and Worlds but then the team result is important to her,
not her own results. Ana: 'My job is to perform in the team and to help my teammates. My wish for 2010 is to win medals with the team and after that, win individual medals and that I'm healthy.'
She talks about gymnastics most of all and little about herself. Born in Galati in 1993, few people probably know what a tough life she has had so far. First of all, coaches Paul and Agripina Galea had to convince her parents to leave her in gymnastics as she was so talented, mostly Ana's father was very sceptical. Her father left the family when she was only 8. She doesn't know where her father is at the moment. 3 years ago, when she had just been selected for the
national team, her mother had to leave for Italy to work there. Ana's sister, who's 2 years older, is being taken care of by an uncle.
In her free time Ana likes to draw as it relaxes her a lot.
Anamaria Tamarjan has to encounter more bad luck in her career. Being prepared to undergo
an operation to remove a cyst on her left knee at the end of this year, she was also diagnosed with a pinched meniscus on her right knee. Anamaria: 'It's a big blow but it also motivates me even more. I want to continue and fight for my dream.'
21 October 2009
Ana Porgras wants to become the best gymnast in the world
'I love bars and I will continue to work hard on this apparatus. After I won the medal, I was constantly looking at it. I received hundreds of messages of support. My mother says that it's an achievement to come home with a medal after my first Worlds. I want to become the best gymnast in the world!,' said Ana for Sport.ro and she added that she had the worse nerves of
her life on beam.
Steliana Nistor is looking for talent
From Sibiu 100%
Steliana (who's dyed her hair blond!) refused an offer to go to America to become a coach as
she wanted to stay in Romania. At the moment, she's dividing her life between the Faculty, friends and the process of getting the status as a coach.
In her new flat, you can see all the memories of her career, her trophies and medals, each one
of them has a story but Stela doesn't have the time to tell each and every one of them. She acknowledges that she struggled a lot trying to cope with the routine of her new life and what it required. Stela: 'I didn't know my own city. I had to learn about the circus and what it is that a person of my age does.'
At the moment she's busy with her study and she can't wait to begin the second year at the Faculty for Physical Education and Sport in Sibiu.
The reporter went to Rusciori with Stela, a place 10 km West from Sibiu, where she tested some children who would like to do gymnastics and she starts with a warming up which is so natural to her. Stela: 'Warm up your shoulders, turn your head, do a few bridges: two up, two down. Stretch your hand, feet apart......very good!' It was the first routine that Steliana did as a coach. Stela: 'Today I taught them some basic elements and it made me happy that they were alongside me. I asked her what they wanted to do and they told me that they want to learn how to do gymnastics.'
She wants to become a coach but first she has the intention to work as an instructor. Stela: I need to get all the diplomas and to start training, probably from next year. Until then, I am looking for kids with talent, ambition and with the wish to do sport.'
Iulian Preda has known Steliana since the age of 3. The counselor of Sibiu wants his daughter, who's 3 years old, to follow in the footsteps of the former gymnast. Iulian: 'I hope the little one has talent. I hope that Steliana will become coach and that she will help other children to
achieve what she has achieved. Even though it means having to sacrifice, I want nothing but good things for my child.'
Nadia Comaneci is excited about Ana Porgras
Nadia Comaneci was present at Worlds in London. For BBC, Nadia said: 'I think I was very impressed by her, I hadn't seen her before. She comes from the same part of Romania, from Moldavia, as I come from. The coaches are hesitant to compare her to me, yet. (She laughs)
I think she's the upcoming new star, she's very different from the style of gymnast that Romania usualy brings, very strong and tumbling usually but Ana has long lines and she's also strong at
the same time and she's very beautiful, she's very new. This is her 3rd big competition and she's very nervous.' (You see Nadia talk to Ana, trying to calm her down, holding her shoulders and Nicolae Forminte is standing next to them, smiling. Ana looks up to Nadia and nods every time
she says something. It's really sweet to see.)
Nadia: 'I just talked to her and she told me that she has competition nerves and that she's very scared. I said to her: 'Do you remember the best routine you've done in training and she said
yes, and I said 'This is the one you have to do today, you don't have to do more or less than
Unfortunately Ana was still very nervous and fell off beam but it's all a learning curve. She performed beautifully on floor, she's a true ballerina on floor. She has a very bright future and then to think that she almost retired from gymnastics after her injury. She sat on the bench outside the gym with her bags packed and she was ready to go home but Steliana Nistor told
her not to give up and she listened to her and stayed in Deva.
After her bars routine in the apparatus finals, where she won bronze and that's the first time
that a Romanian gymnast has won any medal on bars at Worlds since Oana Petrovschi in 2002!, Ana said for Adevarul: ' I made it through my routine on bars and that was the most important thing. After the last gymnast Rebecca Bross from America performed her routine, I wasn't too sure but I sighed with relief in the end. It's a present for Mr. Forminte for his birthday. I didn't count on a medal on bars. I hope I won't be too nervous on beam, I think it will be ok if I work as well as I did on bars. I qualified first on beam so why wouldn't I finish first? I dedicate this bars medal to all the coaches who have trained me and to my family.'
About her fall off beam in the AA she said: 'I don't like to have to wait too long before I start my routine on beam but I could have been more attentive. I need to concentrate more and to
detach myself from what is happening around me so that it's just the beam and me. I had to
wait too long before the judges gave me the green light and I couldn't control my emotions.'
Nicolae Forminte said:' As I had explained already, before Sandra Izbasa's accident, Ana was ready for beam and bars for these World Championships but after what happened to Sandra, I had to change my plans at the last minute and she had to compete AA.' On Saturday, he
explained: 'Tomorrow she will compete in two more finals in which she has to do what I advised her to do today and she succeeded and I hope with all my heart that she will succeed to do her routines well on Sunday too.'
For Cotidianul, Nicolae Forminte explained: 'Anamaria Tamarjan competed well in the AA, without mistakes but she's a team player and not a gymnast for the AA. For Anamaria and for Gabriela Dragoi these Worlds could be the end of their career. Tamarjan expressed her wish to continue after Europeans but she was constantly swinging between continuing and retiring.
As far as Dragoi is concerned, she has these problems with her leg of which nobody knows how it will end. She seems to do ok but when she encounters too many problems, she struggles with thoughts of retiring.'
1. Deng Linlin (CHN) 15.000
2. Lauren Mitchell (AUS) 14.875
3. Ivana Hong (USA) 14.550
4. Kim Un Hyang (PRK) 14.450
5. Elisabetta Preziosa (ITA) 14.200
6. Koko Tsurumi (JPN) 14.100
7. Ana Porgras (ROM) 13.425
8. Yang Yilin (CHN) 13.125
1. Elizabeth Tweddle (GBR) 14.650
2. Lauren Mitchell (AUS) 14.550
3. Sui Lu (CHN) 14.300
4. Anna Myzdrikova (RUS) 14.275
5. Rebecca Bross (USA) 14.125
5. Ana Porgras (ROM) 14.125
7. Deng Linlin (CHN) 13.875
8. Jessica Gil Ortiz (COL) 2.975
17 October 2009
Ana Porgras wins a bronze medal on bars
Ana Porgras performed 7th and did well, just slight mistakes on her leg form and she was a little late on her 1.5 turn on the high bar but she nailed her double layout dismount and finished 3rd, together with Rebecca Bross who was up last but also encountered some leg form problems and
a step on landing.
It's the first time since 2002 that Romania has won a medal on bars at Worlds.
He Kexin was the favourite to win and she did just that although she was crooked after her flight element combination.
1. Kayla Williams (USA) 15.200 and 15.087: 14.975
2. Ariella Kaeslin (SUI) 15.075 and 14.525: 13.975
3. Youna Dufournet (FRA) 14.275 and 14.450: 14.625
4. Ekaterina Kurbatova (RUS) 14.725 and 14.337: 13.950
5. Hong Un Jong( PRK) 14.425 and 14.262: 14.100
6. Anna Myzdrikova (RUS) 14.275 and 14.225: 14.175
7. Brittany Rogers (CAN) 14.425 and 14.200: 13.975
8. Elsa Garcia (MEX) 14.000 and 13.287: 12.575
1. He Kexin (CHN) 16.000
2. Koko Tsurumi (JPN) 14.875
3. Ana Porgras (ROM) 14.675
3. Rebecca Bross (USA) 14.675
5. Cha Yong Hwa (PRK) 14.650
6. Bridget Sloan (USA) 14.600
7. Larrissa Miller (AUS) 14.575
8. Serena Licchetta (ITA) 11.950
16 October 2009
Before Ana Porgras went to London, she said that her dream was to fight for a medal. She knew it was going to be difficult as she's naturally an emotive person and she knew she would be quite nervous. She really wanted to go to London and make everybody proud of her.
Well, needless to say that she did just that. Ana, who won the gold medal on beam at the Junior Europeans last year, had major surgery on her knee tendon following that competition and has fought so hard to get back to world level gymnastics. Even at the Romanian Nationals a few weeks ago, she was still getting used to competing on all 4 apparatus!
Before the AA, Ana said: 'I think my nerves will be my biggest opponent but I have to get
through it and do how I know to do best. No competition is the same and we all start from zero.'
Ana started on vault, her weakest apparatus. She performed a very good single twisting Yurchenko but the judges were a bit harsh on her this time and she only received a 13.675 which put her way down the field straight away as her main adversaries Bridget Sloan and Rebecca Bross performed a DTY and scored so much higher, respectively 14.825 and 14.525.
Anamaria Tamarjan started on beam and did so much better than qualifications for a 14.125.
Bars have been a weak apparatus for the Romanians for quite some time but Ana worked so hard on this apparatus and it is paying off. She showed good stalder work and a 1.5 pirouette to Jaeger and a slight hop on her double layout dismount for a 14.675 and it moved her up from
11th to 6th.
Tamarjan found another menace and this time it was floor where she only scored a 13.600
On to beam and it was here where she would have to make up ground as this is her favourite apparatus but unfortunately she was made to wait an eternity as the judges were struggling with Lauren Mitchell's score. She started well though but came to grief on her layout somi. The rest
of her routine was superb but the damage was done. She came off the podium and walked over to coach Lili Cosma and shrugged her shoulders while Lili kissed her on the forehead. She was
now in 5th position.
Tamarjan vaulted well, DTY for a 14.275.
On to floor where Ana performs so elegantly, it's a delight to watch her dance but she finished with a simple double tuck somi. (14.025) which put her into 7th.
The fight for gold and silver would be between the two Americans, the youngest and inexerperienced one being in the lead after 3 rotations. Sloan was up first though and nailed her routine. (14.200)
Rebecca Bross had a lead of 1.275 so surely her gold medal would be in the bag but nope, on her very last tumbling pass she fell on her barani and put her hands down, only getting a 12.875 so the gold was Sloan's by 0.05.
1. Bridget Sloan (USA) VT: 14.825; UB: 14.800; BB: 14.000; FX: 14.200; Total: 57.825
2. Rebecca Bross (USA) VT: 14.525; UB: 15.075; BB: 15.300; FX: 12.875; Total: 57.775
3. Koko Tsurumi (JPN) VT: 13.600; UB: 15.050; BB: 14.800; FX: 13.725; Total: 57.175
4. Lauren Mitchell (AUS) VT: 14.400; UB: 13.625; BB: 15.100; FX: 14.025; Total: 57.150
5. Youna Dufournet (FRA) VT: 14.300; UB: 14.600; BB: 14.450; FX: 13.300; Total: 56.650
6. Yang Yilin (CHN) VT: 14.700; UB: 13.950; BB: 14.225; FX: 13.700; Total: 56.575
7. Ana Porgras (ROM) VT: 13.675; UB: 14.675; BB: 14.125; FX: 14.025; Total: 56.500
8. Ariella Kaeslin (SUI) VT: 15.125; UB: 13.875; BB: 13.500; FX: 13.425; Total: 55.925
9. Anamaria Tamarjan (ROM) VT: 14.275; UB: 13.625; BB: 14.125; FX: 13.600; Total: 55.625
14 October 2009
Qualification summary: Ana Porgras is Romania's only hope for a medal
Ana Porgras and Anamaria Tamarjan were the gymnasts who were picked to do the AA for Romania, Diana Chelaru was going to do vault and floor and Gabriela Dragoi bars and beam.
Gabriela started in the 1st subdivision and showed a good toe on 1.5 to Jaeger but a low Gienger for a 14.150 (11th) and scored a 13.800 (18th) on beam so no finals for Gabi.
Diana Chelaru also competed in the first division. Her DTY scored a 14.225 but her second vault only received a 12.900 which put her 15th. On floor she only scored a 13.475 and finished 15th so she too didn't make it into the finals.
Ana Porgras competed in the 3rd subdivision and started on bars where she did very well,
showing a 1.5 pirouette to Jaeger, good stalder work and a high double layout dismount (14.575)
Her beam routine is just breath taking with free walkover flick to layout, high sheep jump, good change leg ring leap and a double pike dismount. (14.850)
Her floor routine is so elegant and the double spin with her leg along her ear is superb (14.175).
She only performs a single twisting Yurchenko on vault which will surely be upgraded in the
future. (13.700) Ana qualified as 2nd AA, 7th on bars, 1st on beam and 3rd on floor.
Anamaria Tamarjan was up in the next subdivision and started well on vault with a DTY (14.225). She wasn't as good as Porgras on bars (13.700) and fell off beam (12.900) and was also a little wobbly on her landings on floor (13.425) for 12th AA.
Results after qualification:
1. Rebecca Bross (USA) VT: 14.250; UB: 15.050; BB: 14.150; FX: 13.950; Total: 57.400
2. Ana Porgras (Rom) VT: 13.700; UB: 14.575; BB: 14.850; FX: 14.175; Total: 57.300
3. Lauren Mitchell (Aus) VT: 14.475; UB: 13.750; BB: 14.400; FX: 14.050; 56.675
13. Anamaria Tamarjan (Rom) VT: 14.225; UB: 13.700; BB: 12.900; FX: 13.425; Total: 54.250