Defining success in the pre-Olympic year

For Romania, a successful pre-Olympic World Championship does not necessarily equals winning the most medals. This is a story of building a strong team. Tokyo is not the finish line but merely a part of the process.
I do not expect anything but with my (limited) understanding of this process here are a few of the things I want Romania to achieve in this stage (in no particular order):

The team to go like clockwork in qualifications… Bellu is a master in preparing his teams to compete their best when the big one comes. Simulations of the qualifying competition have been the focus ever since Nationals so they are ready; what’s left is just for the gymnasts to rise to the occasion and make Bellu a happy coach;
Amelia Racea to manage two all around competitions without major errors and to achieve her full potential D score. When 2012 comes, Ama might get the chance to play the steady all arounder for Romania. This is her chance to prove she is mentally strong;
Porgras to shine on floor… Some say this routine looks a lot like her old one, I think she is able to perform it so well that it becomes a separate story;
Two gymnasts in the beam and floor event finals respectively;
Pitic to hit bars… and break the 14.0 barrier every time she competes her bars set;
Ponor to be glued to that beam… not as much as a hair has to move;
A surprise vault... and I will not say more :).

For some, this may seem little after more than a year under B&B. People may be disappointed if they don’t win a team medal and by the looks of it they will have it. I do think there will be the occasional surprises, good and bad. But no achievement will be greater than leaving Tokyo with 7 healthy gymnasts hungry for medals and enthusiastic to make it to London. 

What are your hopes for the Romanian team in Tokio? I am really interested to find out how you feel! 


Romania in the News - Week August 30th - September 4th

Ana Porgras - Prosport
Short interview with Ana Porgras after Romanian Nationals - in Prosport (read it HERE)

Marian Dragulescu is back and wants to win the gold medal at the Olympics - an interview by GSP (read it HERE

Fangymnastics published the second part of Beatrice's journal (read it HERE)
Brigid at The Couch Gymnast wrote a great piece about Catalina Ponor's career (HERE)

An interesting article about former Romanian gymnasts Simona and Camelia Renciu (from the same generation as Ecaterina Szabo) who are currently living and coaching in Luxemburg (HERE)

And Andra000lumi uploaded many videos from Romanian Nationals - from WAG, MAG and juniors- on her youtube channel.


Gent Challenger Cup - Finals - Photos of the Podiums

Uneven Bars: Jiang Yuyuan, Vika Komova and Wu Liufan

Maria Livchikova, Wu, S Bismpikou, Luisa Galiulina

UB and BB podiums

Floor: Wu, Livchikova, Dos Santos

Vault: Maksiuta, Barbosa, Nunez Gomez

FX and VT podiums

the rise of Maria Stepanova

 Gent was fun. One of the reasons was watching Maria Stepanova.

Photos by Luisa B.

I am also uploading Maria's floor routine on my youtube account but it's taking ages.


Wu Liufang - Balance Beam

or watch it here

Gent Challenger Cup - Qualifications - Pictures (3)

Victoria Komova - Beam - Qualifications

or Here

Gent Challenger Cup - Qualifications- Live blogging - Part 3

Maria Stepanova - FX: 13.150 (5.3)
Roni Rabinovitz (BB): wobble on her aerial walkover, many pauses in her routine 12.5 (4.9)

Komova (BB) - fell on the standing arabian in warm-up; she has fantastic form and good amplitude.

Kristina Vaculik: 13.25 (55)

Jiang Yuyuan: front tuck, flic- layout on two feet, almost fell on the back tuck(?)  and then again on the sheep jump, nice switch ring, flick - flick- 2 1/2 twist on the dismount. 13.125 (5.7)

I think Jessica Lopez will not compete on floor anymore.
Dos Santos FX 13.7

Elizaorova FX: 13.475

Bismpikou (BB) 14.150 (6.0)
Maksiuta on BB 14.025 (5.6)

Demyanchuk (BB) - starts with a  fall... but after that, I think she managed everything.; a very characteristic routine for her 13,575

Viktoria Komova (BB): only a few wobbles. very small, the most notable on a double spin. Stuck dismount.
15.175 (6.1)
Maria Paseka (FX) 13.325 (5.4)

WU Liufang: successful BB for her; she had a few wobbles, almost fell on a sheep jump. Looks good! 14.850

Milousi: hands down on dismount - 13.9 (6.1)
Jade Barbosa - BB 13.500

Wu Liufang - Uneven bars

Or watch here

Gent Challenger Cup - Qualifications - Pictures (2)

Jiang Yuyuan 0 Uneven Bars

or here

Gent Challenger Cup - Qualifications- Live blogging - Part 2

Paseka – UB – 12.375 (5.5) - with a fall
Alina Fomenko - VT - 1 1/2Y - 13..8? ... she got around 13 for the second vault for a total of 13.432

Jiang Yuyuan - warm-up - she looks very good (even though she fell twice) - nice double lay-out dismount
Very nice routine for her - other than a few slight leg separations, no major deductions.14.95 (6.3).

Jade Barbosa - UB: she didn't quite hit those handstands and was a bit slow, but a successful routine for her. 13.625... she didn't even wait for her score - immediately moved to VT to help out Adrian Nunes Gomes who was up next.

Adrian Nunes Gomes: first vault 14.075 (5.3) Didn't see the second vault. Her final score is 13.9..

Homolova on UB - 12.975 (5.1)
Paseka VT - 14.775 (DTY) and  13.35 for her second vault (half on front straight) average: 14.062- 3rd
Livchikova UB 13.65 (5.4)
Vasiliki Miloussi: 14.325 (5.9) a bit high if you ask me :)

Wu Liufang (UB): beautiful routine. I thought she had lost it before the piked Tkachev but she recovered very well and stuck the landing! 15.35 (6.8)

S Bismpikou (UB) - 14.125 (6.1)

Diane Dos Santos(UB) - 13.6 (5.6)
Jessica Lopez is on 8th at the moment with Elizarova, Demyanchuk and Galiulina still to go.

Luisa Galiulina (UB) - falls on the high bar to low bar transition; a big step on the dismount. Pretty good other than that. 12.65 (5.6)

Results thus far:

1 - Jade Barbosa: 14.45
2 - Alexa Citlali Moreno Medina: 14.212
3 - Austin Lee Sheppard: 13.687
4 - Hiu Ying Angel: 13.525
5 - Valeria Maksiuta: 13.512

Uneven Bars:
1 - Victoria Komova: 15.3 (6.7)
2 - Ida Gustafsson: 14.125
3 - Jonna Adlerteg: 14.100
4 - Jessica Lopez: 13.825
5 - Kristina Vaculik: 13.725

Jessica Lopez - UB

aaaand here it is Victoria Komova on UB

or watch here

Pics from Gent - Qualifications

Gent Challenger Cup - Qualifications- Live blogging

Jessica Lopez just finished her UB routine. It was fantastic! except for the dismount (double front) - which she sat. Other than that, great form and 4 releases, including a laid-out jaeger.

L. Lo on UB: 13.825 (6.1 D)

Komova warming-up her UB - good form - hands down on dismount.

Results so far: Jade Barbosa leadung VT with 14.550.

UB - on first is Ida Gustavson from SWE:  14.125

Komova just finished her UB routine. It went... well ok. She just seems a little slow and had a few form breaks.
Still waiting for Komova's score... UPDATE 15.3 (6.7)

Brittani Rogers of Canada on UB: 13.45 (5.6)

Kristina Vaculik - on UB 13.725 (5.6)