About Bercy 2011, about Romania, about always wanting more

French International Conclusions 

Did you like the French Internationals? Getting the chance to see gymnastics on TV/youtube and read some news on the blogs was nice, but I can’t say I enjoyed the meet itself. First of all, the competition format is bad: when you have four gymnasts in a final, the risk of ending up on the podium with more than one gymnast that fell is very high. This is bad and it says enough.

Secondly, I didn’t like it because I personally was unable to watch it on TV, but that’s a different problem.

But the most important reason for which I didn’t like it was the fact that we were not given the oportunity of seing many surprises. There were some fantastic gymnasts invited, there’s no doubt. But, aside from Mustafina - who had the right to compete on all four events or on whatever events she chose - the others kind of showed same old, didn’t they? I don’t understand the point of inviting only the gymnasts that are in the top and get them compete exclusively in the events that they excel at.
So, besides Mustafina who is good at basically anything (I bet she is able even to pee faster and more efficiently than any of us if she sets her mind to), we saw a group of gymnasts that had spent  most of their winter improving not on their best events but on their weaker, right? But, too bad, they competed on the events they didn’t need much improvement on.
That being said, were you among the people that less than impressed with the Romanian girls? Don’t feel bad, I was a bit underwhelmed as well.
But I am not depressed (yet).


To be honest, I am not dissatisfied with what I saw. There were many signs and hints of evolution:
Sandra Izbasa 
       Izbasa:  new floor routine, rearranged passes, more dramatic and appealing choreo, no more OOB issues, lovely triple twist. Conclusion: pleased. But for wow, I want to see more.  
           Chelaru: she presented two vaults with slightly improved form, more controlled and “taller” landings on the DTY; same floor routine – same music anyway- BUT it was much more artistic, it had a better triple twist, and a very nice jump out of the double back. No Amanar, no new skills; Conclusion: I like this enhanced version of Diana Chelaru but I am not impressed yet;
-        Porgras:  rearranged uneven bars routine that doesn’t look nearly ready – works hesitantely, doesn’t hit handstands, has added one more release skill; rearranged beam set  - but no new skill (she has been doing versions of this routine since 2009) –good potential for further increasing her difficulty; a few hesitations and wobbles  and even a fall on one of her steadier skills (word is that even Mariana was surprised she missed that). Conclusion: interesting but not impressive (yet).

 Where does the dissatisfaction come from?

So I am underwhelmed. Yes I admit there is progress, the work IS palpable, this is gymnastics. You can learn skills in 2 weeks (sometimes more) BUT to change entire whole routines, it certainly takes time.
This weekend’s results were nice! We saw the best three gymnasts of the team winning at least a medal in finals in which only the top 4 in the world (at this point) were able to qualify.

 But we already knew those were not Romania’s issues.

I am dissatisfied with what I haven't seen. (I know, sounds like I am going mad).

I want to see Sandra’s second vault in competition, I want to see Diana Chelaru on beam and uneven bars, I want to see Porgras’ DTY and upgraded floor. And more importantly, I want to see Racea –beam, uneven bars, vault, floor -, Haidu’s rearranged beam set and upgraded uneven bars, Dragoi’s uneven bars etc. Only after that will we be able to form an opinion...

Europeans are a great opportunity of seing four gymnasts competing on all four apparatuses. I hope, (as all selfish gymnastics fans do), that 1) – they will send 4 gymnasts and 2) – that at least three of the gymnasts will compete on all four events (except for Izbasa – for which I will be pleased with two or three events). If this happens then I will be able to form a bit of an opinion about the progress of Bellu’s squad. If no, then we will have to wait until the summer or worse – Tokyo

Until then, I will enjoy the ride, and stay positive, 
or at least wish that the gymnasts will do so :)

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