TCG Magazine # 6 !

Includes my interview with Anamaria Tamarjan.

Bea: How was 2009 for you? I am thinking that you started with a great desire to work (I read you gave up to your winter vacation to train for the American Cup) and in the end everything seemed the opposite.

Ana: In 2009 I had joys but also sorrows. I did not recover completely after the femur crack and at the Europeans in Milan I was in pain again. The joy was the silver medal on beam, because the beam is my favorite event.

Bea: What was the happiest moment in 2009 for you and what was the saddest?

Ana: The best moments in 2009 was the medal in Milan and turning 18. The saddest was at the Worlds in London where I could not concentrate for a good contest. I did not manage to get confortable with the event hall and with the equipment. These Worlds will remain in my mind as a failed objective. I wanted a medal really badly.

Bea: What is the medal that you cherish the most and why?

Ana: My most cherished medal is the one from the Olympics because it was the most difficult contest in all my career.

Read the whole interview in here.

I think this might become my favorite issue, so much stuff to read!!


Russian Cup - Beam and Floor

well, I hope I am not mistaking because the results are available in Russian only and I had to guess the names:

1. Anna Dementyeva - 15.375
2. Yulia Belokobylskaya - 14.900
3. Aliya Mustafina - 14.850
4. Daria Yelizarova -14.450
5. Ksenia Semyonova - 14.450
6. Anna Pavlova - 14.175
7. Tatiana Nabiyeva - 13.00
8. Anna Myzdrikova - 11.450

1. Aliya Mustafina - 15.300
2. Ksenia Afanasyeva - 15.025
3. Ksenia Semyonova - 14.850
4. Anna Dementyeva- 14.575
5. Anna Myzdrikova - 14.500
6. Daria Yelizarova - 14.375
7. Yulia Belokobylskaya - 14.200
8. Tatiana Nabiyeva - 13.850

... looks like they are really ready on floor. The results were posted on the Russian Federation website.

Russian Cup - Vault and Uneven Bars Results (via IG)

Vault results:
1. Tatiana Nabiyeva 14.550
2. Aliya Mustafina 13.963
3. Anna Dementyeva 13.463
4. Yekaterina Kurbatova 13.438
5. Yulia Belokobylskaya 13.363
6. Anna Myzdrikova 13.350

gosh... I wonder if the judges were giving such different scores in the different days of competition just to puzzle the poor bloggers :).
Uneven Bars results:
1. Aliya Mustafina 14.775
2. Tatiana Nabiyeva 14.750
3. Ksenia Semyonova 14.500
4. Daria Yelizarova 14.225
5. Ksenia Afanasyeva 13.425
6. Diana Sapronova 13.025
7. Yulia Inshina 12.125
8. Yekaterina Kurbatova 11.925

"Since Mustafina's personal coach moved to the U.S., she now trains with the national team staff, including head coachAlexander Alexandrov, who returned to Russia from Texas in 2008. Her former coach, Dina Kamalova, left CSKA Moscow for WOGA in Plano, Texas, where her new pupils include U.S. champion Rebecca Bross."

Complete results and more details on the International Gymnast website.


seven days a week at Izvorani

Mirela Neag of GSP has visited the Romanian national team at Izvorani. I don't know exactly when that happened but the article is dated August 26th.

She writes that in the three months since they have returned Bellu and Bitang have moved at Izvorani and that the team will train there after the Worlds as well but Deva will not be a desolate place because the juniors are still there, also the seniors will move there from time to time to break the monotony.

B&B on coming back after five years:"It is not hard to return to the job you love, that you do with pleasure. The only thing missing now is the free time i had before "Bitang confessed alo that they have basically have moved to Izvorani, where they live, including during the weekends." These girls are like children and need to be constantly monitored"

When I returned to gym I felt that I missed only one day. The job made for fun is something that you don’t forget, your reflexes formed in 25 years of work will never disappear " says Octavian Belu.

They both agree that much work is still needed and that the most important thing is that after three months all the girls are healthy, without major medical problems. "None is in plaster or with crutches" exemplifies Bitang."The gymnasts are now starting to hammer in a more intense working style, more rigorous," says Bellu.

I don't expect B&B to do wonders at the next Worlds, but I am positive they will have the best results that are humanly possible. Also, by keeping the national team at Izvorani they manage to maintain everything more transparent (see the unprecedented media coverage) also, by not keeping themselves isolated, they manage to remain somewhat happier, more relaxed... like they have a choice now, with Bucharest being so close.

Anyway, B&B seem to have chosen gymnastics this time, not the medals, not the money (I'm not even sure they are paid to do this). Maybe it's early to speak about this after only 3 months... but probably the five years of pondering, have helped them realise exactly what they want. To train little girls into fabulous gymnasts... This time without breaking their backs and starving them I hope.
But, in gymnastics, is there any other way?


The latest about Steliana Nistor

Remember when Steliana went on a visit to Norway? (circa April 2010) Well it was not just for fun. She wanted to see a gym there that had offered her a contract. Now, after concluding that she has no opportunity to do what she likes in Romania, Steliana has accepted the offer.
Also, the fact that Steliana attempted a comeback was confirmed by her mother:

"Steliana stayed at Izvorani for a week and wanted to train for two events. But she couldn’t remain there because of back and hand problems, the same that made her retire in the first place."
She added:
"She has been in Norway for two weeks now, but do not know exactly what the city is called. She trains there a group of junior and has a one-year contract. She was there in April as well, but then she returned. I talk to her on the internet, phone and take care of her bunny, here, at home."


10 of the best performances at the YOG

The gymnastics contest at YOG is now concluded. Some gymnasts have been better than ever offering some nice performances, some unexpected (such as Carlotta Ferlito and Ana Sofia Gomez Porras) and some gymnasts have not been at their best, due to injury or other reasons (Diana Bulimar, Tess Moonen). All in all it has been a nice contest,since we have witnessed with some star making performances and some legendary ones.
I have selected the 10 best routines that no one should miss. Though I was unable to find the exact performance I was referring to, I embeded one from the same event in another day of competition.

10) Ana Sofia Gomez Porras - beam in the EF or here

9) Angela Donald - beam in the EF (this is from qualifications) or here

8) Natsumi Sasada - bars in the AA or here

7) Ferlito - beam from EF (this is from qualifications) or here

6) Tan Sixin - floor (in the EF) (this is from AA) or here

5) Carlota Ferlitto - floor in the AA final or here

4) Voctoria Komova's Amanar from the EF or here

3) Diana Bulimar's floor (from the EF) or here

2) Tan Sixin - beam (from the EF) or here

1) Victoria Komova - uneven bars (from the AA) or here


Diana's floor routine

There are alreay videos on rodolfocrazybrasil's channel. You can see there Vicoria's beam routine as well.

what a birthday for Diana Bulimar!!

Great day for Diana at the YOG, as she managed to capture her first medal, a silver in the floor finals. Diana, who stuck 3 of 4 landings managed her best routine of the year, the same day she turns 15.
The star of the day was Tan Sixin who captured the gold medals in both finals. Here are the medalists:

Beam final:
1. Tan Sixin - 15.55
2. Carlotta Ferlito - 14.825
3. Angela Donald - 14.450

Floor Final:
1. Tan Sixin - 14.525
2. Diana Bulimar - 14.325
3. Victoria Komova- 14.175

Komova has had a rather dissapoining last day: she fell twice off the beam and almost sat her first tumbling pass on floor.


Youth Olympic Games Qualifications - as predictable as they seemed...

Yep,YOG are predictable to a certain extent... I mean we all knew from months ago Komova will win many medals, the question was 5 golds or just 4? After yesterday's qualifications it seems that it will only depend on Tan Sixin, on how she manages to overcome the fact that she's the Chinese hot favorite on beam (we know very well what had happened to most of them...).
But the nice part is Komova will not allow us to get bored because with those scores, can we complain? I mean 61.000 in a competition outside the US internal scams and nationals? That is huge. Komova IS the best gymnast in the world right now; had she been the right age to compete at the worlds, she would have dominated the same way she dominates the YOG. Not only does she have huge difficulty (6.5+6.5+5.9+5.5) but her execution is almost flawless as well (9.2 for her Amanar, 9.1 on UB, 9.25 on BB and 9.05 on FX).

Our Diana Bulimar had a pretty good qualifying round, but too similar to the the Euros... It seems that her beam execution is not getting any better... She qualified fourth for the AA, 5th for VT, 3rd for UB and 3rd for the FX finals. So good, but not great. I personally am a bit perplexed about the way her beam set is pulling her backwards instead of becoming her strenght, because I know she can be great on beam:

This is at YOG:

And this is at Romanian International:

the newspapers on Romania vs Great Britain

The team for the match against Great Britain has been decided:

Gabriela Drăgoi

Cerasela Pătraşcu

Raluca Haidu

Diana Trenca

Daniela Andrei

Coaches: Liliana Cosma and Florin Cotutiu

So they have decided to send the gymnasts that need to compete more than anything else. Plus, they are keeping the best ones at home because Bellu and Bitang want them to show up at Rotterdam in a better shape than ever and to amaze us.

I have read two artlicles about this: one in Prosport containing the FRG’s press release and one in Gazeta Sporturilor.

From GSP, I found worth mentioning:

Mariana Bitang: „We will not send there the core of the team. The girls that have not competed so far are going. Saying that we are sending a team there is too much, it’s a presence to honor an invitation that was accepted before we came to the national team”

- The rest of the gymnasts will remain at Izvorani and will continue with the usual schedule of two training sessions a day

- The only time we will see B&B with the gymnasts will be the Nationals in September

- „Our aim is that at the nationals, in September, the gymnasts to show absolutely all the elements they know” – Mariana Bitang

- For Ana Porgras, who is slowly recovering according to Bitang, the objective is to show only two aparatuses at the Worlds in Rotterdam „We don’t want to force anything, our objectives are tied to London 2012 and we don’t want any more injured gymnasts by then”


Corina addresses the retirement rumours

this is the translation of a ProSport interview :

Why did you give up?

I could not continue physically, the pains were strong. I tried to protect my left ankle, which had problems and put pressure on the tendon of my right leg. I ignored the pain, but I panicked when I could barely walk or go down stairs

Are you disappointed?

No, I tried, I had the courage to start all over. My return has attracted much negative criticism and I think now everything is quiet.

Do you have any regrets?

No. I gathered much satisfaction, because if someone had told me that I will get to learn new elements on uneven bars at 29 or that I get to do jumps better than in '97, I would have taken it as a joke.

You have been given as an example ...

I did not want to be seen as a model. The only thing that I wanted was that my ambition to help the younger gymnasts to continue to fight for their dream.

Another gymnast from Ploiesti retired, Tămîrjan...

I spoke to Ana and I told her that I would help her when she needs me. We can go together to the gym to exercise and hopefully, she will regain her desire to do gymnastics.

How is your life now?

With much rest and sports, I take golf lessons.

Will you continue your coaching career?

I stayed in the gym for seven years and a half and it's enough. I'll try to stay close to sports, but in another manner. I want to help the sport here in Ploiesti, to get involved more, to do something for the place where I started.


translation of the exciting piece about the Romanian team

You have probably seen this already, just for the ones that don't speak Romanian:

Gymnasts to control: Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang have started the tests with scores with the desire of shaping a team for the worlds. Izbasa cannot wait for her first contest and Octavian Belu reveals the aspects the Romanians will rely on: confidence and accuracy.

Today’s trial was also important for deciding the team that will take part in next weeks match against Geat Britain. The routines are binding sowly but the girls still have not managed to convince their severe coaches so that a new controlled training session will follow.

Belu: “for those who really had no contests or have stopped training for a longer period, such competition is a stimulant and it speeds up recovery ”

Izbasa revved up her engines and is ready for three apparatuses; Sandra has a new floor music and is ready for competition

Izbasa: “I want to keep my position as a leader, I am glad to see that girls listen to me, is an accumulation period”

Belu (about Izbasa): “is one of the few if not the only one who does not fall below a certain standard”


"It’s Time to Take Care of the Kids" - Article in TCG issue # 5

So, while I was on vacation, issue # 5 of TCG Magazine appeared. I think this is my favorite so far for a number of reasons: Maria Cosma inreview, the TCG analysis of the Chinese system and Marlies Rijken interview.
And of course a new article that i have written: Romania's Next Generation.
This is an article about some of the lesser known Romanian Juniors of all levels (actually they are all in the top 4 categories of gymnasts - by age and skills). All of them have shown great talent and nice perspective on one or more events at the latest Junior Romanian Nationals in June.
Some of them are:
Georgiana Gheorghe

Andreea Rotaru:

Irina Paun (and many more)