Sandra - news presenter for a day

here are the images from GSPtv


Happy B-day Ana P.!

or watch here
montage by gymnastnathalie96


Romania training in Milan

On short, there won't be to much time for shopping, the camp looks like a relatively secluded place that will allow them to train in private. I love how Mariana helps Diana Chelaru with the hairpin and then she says "we don't want to be fashionable (referring to clothes)... we only want to have interesting fashionable gymnastics and come back on the podium"

Top Gymnasts in 2010 according to FRG and my (not so thorough) attempt at undestanding the rankings

"At the end of a competitive year marked by many successes, both in artistic gymnastics, and aerobics, major international competitions - the World and European Championships, Youth Olympic Games, World Cup, the Romanian International Championships, National Championships and other top contests - a year of important changes regarding the organization and the preparation of the teams, a year that brought dissatisfaction as well, the Romanian Gymnastics Federation drew the linedenoting, according to tradition, the year's top 10 gymnasts 2010 in artistic gymnastics(women and men) and aerobics in the top rankings ranged Ana Porgras, Flavius Koczi and Mircea Zamfir whose performances this year are quite well known."

Rankings and some facts:

1) Ana Porgras
Most notable results: BB World Champion, 1st on BB in Ghent World Cup, 3rd with the team at Euros, 1st in the AA, 1st on Beam, 3rd on Floor at Romanian Nationals etc.

or watch here

2) Diana Chelaru
Most important results: silver on floor at 2010 Worlds, bronze on floor at Euros, 2nd on Floor at the nationals etc.

or watch here

3) Amelia Racea
Most important results: gold on BB at Euros, 3rd with the team at Euros 2010

or watch here

4) Sandra Izbasa
Most notable results of the year: 1st on Floor at Ghent World Cup, 1st on Vault and Floor at Romanian Nationals, 2nd on BB at Nationals, 2nd at the Arthur Gander Memorial
or watch here

5) Raluca Haidu
Most notable results: 3rd on beam and 3rd with the team at Europeans, 1st AA at Romanian International, 9th all around at the Worlds

or watch here

6) Gabriela Dragoi
3rd on BB at Romanian Nationals, 4th with the Team at Worlds

or watch here

7) Diana Bulimar
Notable results: 2nd on FX at Youth Olympic Games, 3rd on UB and 2nd with the team at Jr Euros

or watch here

8) Larisa Iordache
Notable Results: gold on FX, bronze AA and silver with the team at Jr. Euros, 1st AA and in all EF's at Jr. Nationals

or watch here

9) Cerasela Patrascu
4th with the team at Worlds, 3rd on Vault, 2nd on UB at Romanian Nationals
or watch here

10) Dana Andrei
Most notable results: 3rd on UB at Romanian Nationals
or watch here

So, according to FRG, 1st place in the World Cup beats Jr. European Gold AND Youth Olympic silver... wich is surprising for me. I would have had Ana, Diana and Amelia on first 3 spots as well... on 4th maybe Diana Bulimar (for her YOG silver), 5th Larisa Iordache (because of her Gold at Euros), 6th Raluca Haidu, 7th Sandra Izbasa, 8th Gabriela Dragoi, 9th Cerasela Patrascu and 10th Dana Andrei.


Andreea Raducan Book Launch

Andreea and her family

"This book is a part of a small gallery of publications that show what happens behind a medal. It's a good thing Andreea had the courage to write such a book. In general, we all try to forget the unhappy moments but Andreea doesn't want to forget. She wants to remember even the moments that caused her nightmares and maybe made her grow up too soon." Octavian Bellu

"I always said that all the important events in my life happened at the right time. What would you do if you were me? Would you take back your medal? Yes? Then I will try get my medal as well. Still... I don't know, The president of the IOC, Mr. Jaques Rogge was the president of the committee, for my case in 2000. To go now and ask him for my medal doesn't make sense. So, for now the answer is no." Andreea Raducan

see more pictures in Prosport


Sad news from Izvorani

Tamarjan and Patrascu have retired! 

In an interview for Prosport, Mariana Bitang said it was Cerasela's decision to retire, she simply didn't want to continue; while in Anamaria's case it was a decision influenced by her parents and the coaches because she has some back problems.
Asked whether there are any health problems among the gymnasts in the national team, Bitang said that the only injury is Diana Bulimar's but she underwent a knee arthroscopy and she is recovering well. Bitang also said that 6 juniors have started to train with the big girls (probably Bulimar, Madalina Neagu, Larisa Iordache, Diana Rusu, Beatrice Margarit and Maria Balea), some of them will become seniors next year, some in 2012.
About Sandra Izbasa's desire to continue: "She is a boost for the other girls. Sandra is also motivated by the progress she sees in others, and she is constantly improving her routines; she has reached a maturity that allows to realise that she can be rewarded for all the hard work she has done for years".

Six months have passed since Bellu and Bitang have returned to the national team, the period of adjustment is over "Now we know each other and we finally speak the same language.".

Read the entire interview in Prosport.


Sandra Izbasa Interview

I spoke to Sandra in Ghent, a couple of months ago, she had just returned to competition and looked like something ... different. I don't have an awful lot of experience in interviewing gymnasts, but she was a surprise to me; I hadn't imagined she was so cool: a professional athlete as she described herself but also warm, open and extremely polite at the same time.

Read the interview here and if you missed it, my Ghent report from the 7th issue of TCG magazine.

Bonus: some not very fortunate pictures from Ghent- I somehow managed to find them on my computer

Sandra, Ana and Lucian Sandu

Jessica Gil Ortiz - happy and frightened at the same time after Beam Qualif

Amelia Racea - preparing for Uneven Bars


Why was TopGym a success for the Romanians

At last week's meeting, Romania was represented by Adela Florea (borne in 2000) and Madalina Blendea (1999). They finished the all around competition 14th and 24th respectively (having very low uneven bars D scores: under 3.0) but they impressed me and many others.
The reasons: great beam skills, nice height on floor and vault, espacially Madalina Blendea is pretty artistic for such a young gymnast.
But I liked the most is what they did on their weak event: the uneven bars. Of course they don't shine - they have form breaks and all- but the good news is that there are Romanian gymnasts that are learning release moves from 10! Both Madalina and Adela presented a Gienger release and none of them missed it. 

the eleven year old Madalina Blendea

via GymExaminer

She is so polished and elegant (and born in 1999). I love her!