25 reasons for which we love the 1999 Worlds (PART 3)

11. Andreea Raducan's debut
Because she didn't make a mistake the entire competition, maintaining very high scores on her best events, floor and beam. She went home with two individual medals: gold on floor and silver on beam. Bellu was amazed by the way she approached her first major competition and, as soon as they got back home, they started working on upgrading her vaults. He knew that if he did the right things, she would be the next Olympic all around champion.

12. Most popular gymnast of 1999: Viktoria Karpenko
Mostly because of routines like this one:

She won the silver medal in the all around and qualified for the vault and uneven bars finals but the general feeling was she could have done much more than that.

13.the Vault Final
I always like to watch the vault final. One important reason is that it all happens at a fairly rapid pace that meets my reduced attention span.

That year, the favorites were a former world and olympic champion (Simona Amanar) - who you'd expect to do well. We also had people with insane difficulty (Produnova, Trudy McIntosh) and we hoped that they will finally manage to stick those landing. There were also the people with great talent and difficulty but very inexperienced like Zamo, and we didn't know if they will be able to hold it together for those seconds... And of course, there were the "boring" gymnasts, like Maria Olaru. 

In the end, Olaru, Produnova, McIntosh and Lopez all finished within 3 tenths of a point. Olaru won the bronze. Amanar was good too, but the level of difficulty betrayed her and she did not really look like she was going to win - she ended up second. Zamo proved that she was capable of hitting under pressure and won the gold.

14. The Team Finals: Ukraine
It was probably the last year when Ukraine was a real contender for a medal as a team. They had solid performances on most of rotations: on uneven bars they manage to score above Romania, then, they had three stunning floor routines, by Karpenko, Shkarupa and Yarosh, on the other hand, their two beam finalists Roshupkina and Teslenko did not deliver during the team finals, and the vault rotation did not go exactly as planned. They ended up on 4th, less than 0.1 away from the bronze.

15. Mariana Bitang's hairstyle, different and funny:

16 Romania on floor
During the qualification and the team final, all 10 routines of the Romanian gymnasts got 9.7+ scores. Then, the three Romanians qualified for the AA scored above 9.8 during that final. AND in the EF Raducan and Amanar won gold and silver respectively. They owned the floor.

17. All Around, the final rotation
Because of the drama, what else? The top two gymnasts after three rotations (Karpenko and Olaru) competed on vault, which is a great, exciting way to conclude an all around final. I loved the waiting for Olaru's score.. until it was shown on the screen, you could not tell who the winner will be.
Oh, do you remember that time when Khorkina prepared Amanar's bars and she (Amanar) consequently fell? It was in that same last rotation - Simona was on 3rd place before the disaster struck.

18. Ina Skharupa's stunning floor routine

or you can also watch it here.

19. Ekaterina Lobazniuk
Her gymnastics was modern,  refined and refreshing. Unfortunately she was a bit underscored here and there by the judges so 1999 was not exactly her year. It is important to mention, though, that her total in the TF was the highest of her team mates.

20 Liu Xuan
Because of her beam routine and for the way she led the Chinese team to the bronze medal.
or watch it here.
... and for many other reasons that were very nicely put together by The Couch Gymnast.

21 Simona Amanar 
 After that competition I started to like her even more. The fact that she messed up during the team finals demonstrated that she was fragile and ... human. Ok, maybe not so much when she was doing her thing on vault or floor. That was magical.
or you can also watch it here.

22. Spain
For the three brilliant gymnasts that they put in the all around final: Sara Moro, Esther Moya and Laura Martinez.  

23. Produnova's vault
or you can watch it here.

24. Floor Finals
 because of Andreea's floor routine (and what many consider to be the best of her career)

25. Tatiana Zarganova
If someone would ask you to name the some event specialist of the last twenty years,  her name would most probably not come to mind. But between 1999 and 2002, she qualified for all the UB event finals at the Worlds or  Olympics. She was also the last gymnast from her country to do it.
Zharganova was a very talented still overlooked gymnast. A gymnast that never managed to win a major medal but she competed at a senior level between 1996 and 2004, went to two Olympics and qualified for numerous uneven bars event finals.

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