Romania: last simulated contest before Worlds

These are excerpts from an article by Mirela Neag and Roxana Fleseru published in Gazeta Sporturilor.

Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang have scheduled a workout yesterday in conditions of maximum stress to check their athletes' ability to concentrate. The coaches have tried to simulate the conditions under which the gymnasts will have to compete in Ahoy arena: moments of absolute silence alternated with noise and music.

At 12:00, Sandra Izbasa, Cerasela Patrascu, Ana Porgras, Diana Chelaru, Amelia Race and Gabriela Dragoi and Raluca Haidu were present in the gym at the Olympic Complex Izvorani. Wearing the new costumes, in shades of white and black, dotted here and there with silver sequins. In the first 45 minutes, the girls warmed-up in turn on all apparatuses. They started with the beam, then on vault, uneven bars and floor. In silence. From time to time you could hear the advices given by Bellu and Bitang, and the gymnasts' cheers.

At 12:45 the "competition" started. A workout under the competition conditions. Of time and stress. Each gymnast has tried to imagine how it would be in competition. They started with uneven bars. Order: Haidu, Patrascu, Racea, Porgras, Chelaru*. While they were flying between the two bars, the other girls were on floor. It was not flawless, but it's only a rehearsal. There is room for missing the bar or a fall from beam, some steps out of bounce and less than perfect landings on vault.

Mariana Bitang** has decided not to accompany the delegation at the World Championships in the Netherlands. Only Octavian Bellu will go, but he will not have access to the competition area. "We decided it was better for me to remain in Romania to take care of the girls who will not go to the Worlds and make a selection for the national team. I will focus on the girls that turn 16 in 2012, the year the London Olympics" said the coach. She also said that only three coaches have the right to enter the competition area and the coaches that have worked with the girls before their return to the National team will be there.

A world medal, especially gold, is not ready in two to three months, as we had. I hope the girls will want a medal more than their coaches. Mariana Bitang

I feel I have progressed compared to the Nationals. At the Worlds we will be a team. I hope I will be able to do my routines and to show as much confidence as possible. At this moment I am at almost 70 percent of my potential. Ana Porgras

I do not promise anything, I won't say big words. I want to make a a nice competition and on the floor, to have a very clean routine. Sandra Izbasa

We need confidence and to be able to make our best routines. This is the Worlds and there can be many surprises. Cerasela Patrascu

We do not target these Worlds, but to present ourselves well in 2011 and, and at London Olympics particularly. Hopefully though, in Rotterdam, the girls will reach top form. Octavian Bellu

It will be a great tension. It's my first World. I hope I will be able to do my best. Raluca Haidu

*Where is Gabi Dragoi? I guess this says a lot about Amelia's reserve status

1 comment:

Lauren C said...

I love reading your blog posts! You are the most knowledgeable person I know on Romanian gymnastics and you keep me in the loop.

Also: I really, really hope Gabi is reserve...not because I want her to be but because I think Amelia deserves to be on the team and that they need her--especially on vault and bars.