The Story of Larisa Iordache - Part 2

"Junior" years

This part is about the some of highlights of Larisa’s long junior international career whisch started in 2007 and it continues in 2011…

In 2008, when she was "already" 12 years old Larisa and team mate Diana Bulimar participated in the Top Gym competition in Belgium. Larisa finished the competition 4th all around (behind Jordyn Wieber, Yvette Moshage and Kamerlin Moore) and had the 4th highest score on vault, second on beam (0.05 behind Wieber) and 1st on floor (tie with the American). On uneven bars she had the 14th score in the competition.

A few weeks later Larisa took part in 2008 Challenge international, a junior competition held in Netherlands, together with team mates Patricia Tiron, Mihaela David, Ana Maria Baicu (all of whom are now retired from gymnastics). She finished the competition 4th all around behind Corrie Lothrop, Olivia Courtney and Amanda Jetter. She had the highest marks on beam and floor, was third on vault and 9th on uneven bars.

In 2009 her most notable competitions were:
 the National championships which was the first time she competed on the same “scene” as the Romanian senior gymnasts. Granted 2009 was not a particularly good year for the Romanian national team, Larisa stole the show. Here is her BB routine, when Alina Alexoi, the Romanian National Television commentator is in awe of the discovery.

 (For the ones of you that don't speak Romanian her's a summary: she (the commentator) first says that  Larisa seems sure footed, then is amazed by the tucked full, then she says she doesn't want to make her fall so will refrain from praising her, then she starts again by applauding her leaps, jumps and acro skills only to be shocked by the pirouette and the triple twist Larisa throws in the end.)

in November 2009, Larisa returned to Charleroi for the Top gym competition. It was time for redemption: she won the all round and the beam final. She also competed in the UB final, finishing 7th.

In 2010, prior to the Euros, Larisa and the other members of the Junior team were allowed to participate in the Romanian International competition (outside the contest). In the first day she had some mistakes in the AA competition, finishing 6th but the event finals she stole the show from the seniors (once again): she had the second highest total on vault, was 3rd on UB, 1st BB (better than first place – Ana Porgras) and 1st FX (higher score than Diana Chelaru who won the final).

At the Junior Europeans, a few weeks later, in a competition dominated by the Russians, Larisa was among the few gymnasts who were able to challenge them. She contributed to the team’s silver medal and then took bronze AA (behind Komova and Grishina), was second on BB (with an watered down routine) and shared the first place on floor with Anastasia Grishina.
Up Next – Larisa’s development in the last year, since she became a member on the Romanian Olympic team. Don’t miss tomorrow’s “newspaper”!

Read the first part here:

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