Raluca Haidu and Cristian Bataga win Brno Sokol Grand Prix

In the qualifications, the Romanian Raluca Haidu competed on UB - 13.4 (5.7 D) and floor, on which she scored 14.05 (5.3 D score).
In the semi-final Raluca chose balance beam scoring 13,65 ( 5.8 D score); on the same apparatus she scored 14,5 in the final round (5.9 D score).

The couple from Romania competed in the final against Jana Sikulova/Mark Ramseier, Kristina Palesova Martin Konecny and Giulia Steingruber/ Slavomir Michnak 

Final Results:

Official results HERE


Alicia Sacramone - better than ever

via IG Forum

or watch it here.


Favorite Routines from Moscow

Vasiliki Millousi - BB - qualifications- one of my favorite beam routines of this year:

Jessica Lopez's Uneven Bars in the EF (1st place)- J Lo amazes me yet again, by competing some new skills. She is constantly upgrading, getting better and better each time we see her. 

Yana Demyanchuk's Beam from the qualifications - in which she stays ON the beam! And what a layout!

Jana Sikulova - qualifications - UB - Jana is 23 and still competing. She is also a great uneven bars worker. 

Ksenia Afanasyeva's beam routine - from event finals (2nd place) - Ksenia has shown this weekend that she still has some nice skills. I like her style on this event. She may be somewhat businesslike but is also very graceful.

Anna Dementyeva's UB - qualifications
I have high hopes for Anna this year. But I am not referring to shiny(er) medals. I think that the results she had this spring will give her strength to work harder and harder and the courage to challenge herself and to push herself into becoming one of the greats.


Memorable Quotes from TMF (The Medal Factory)

Episode 1

Catalina Ponor: I was retired for three years and a half, in which I never thought I would ever return. But I was encouraged when I watched the (2010) Worlds, when I saw the skills and in the next moment after the Worlds finished I called and I told I was coming. It was not something planned, it was a decision I took on the spot.

Sandra Izbasa: (about 2011 Worlds) I want what I didn’t achieve so far: to take a gold medal at the World Championships. The event is not important, it can be either on Vault or on Floor.

Ana Porgras: (regarding 2011 Worlds) It's tough to invent a new element... I will have to rely on execution but i will also increase the difficulty a little bit (...) I hope I will get to compete all around and that I will have the strength to be on the podium.

Amelia Racea: (in order to become a champion, an athlete) must be a bit talented, to work hard in the gym and a little bit lucky.

Caralina Ponor: The competition is very different now compared to older generations. In 2004 at the Olympics we were figthing for every tenth, we were fighting not to move, not even a hair.

 Catalina Ponor: (practising gymnastics) takes tenacity, ambition, perseverance. Even if it’s just training you have to think as you do at competitions. Each training must be a competition, not only with yourself, but also with your team mates.

Larisa Iordache: I do think about the Olympics but by then I must come to the gym… it’s not a must… I want to do it, no one makes me to. By this, I want to improve, to get to the level of those that were champions before. This is what I want to achieve too, to be up there on the podium.

Diana Chelaru: (about gymnastics in general) Yes, it's not easy, there is a lot of work behind but I can honestly say that it was worth it, because there are some satisfactions that you could not achieve otherwise: to be on the podium and hear the anthem is very beautiful... this is a very weak description... it's extraordinary.

Octavian Bellu: At the Worlds in October, I hope that I will get the chance to clarify for myself extremely well what is the potential of each gymnast. Of course, the calculations now will be for a team without Larisa Iorgache whilst in 2012 we will have to consider her as well.

Mariana Bitang: This is a tough period, of accumultation (…) some girls are on schedule in terms of progress, for some it’s more difficult but the important is that all of them are working and are healthy. We hope to add on difficulty for the worlds, to get there in a beter shape and the team that will compete there to be the core of the team for the Olympics.

Octavian Bellu: It’s a heterogeneous team but we hope to consitute an unitary team until the Olympics, a team that will be able to challenge the other teams for the medals in the team competition and all around and event finals.

The Medal Factory is a show by Digi Sport, episode 1 aired on Saturday, May 14th at 2:30 PM EET on DigiSport Plus. 
You can watch the first episode HERE (part one and part two), uploaded by Mickeyy from Fangymnastics.


A face in the crowd

This is a guest post by Luisa, a dear friend of mine and fellow gymnastics enthusiast, who relates the story of her encounter with “the hero of her teenage years”.

I had to look twice. Yes, it was true. Simona Amanar was sitting just 5 seats away from me among the crowd that came to see the all around final at the World Championships in Rotterdam. Probably the fact that I was staring at her with the camera in my hands attracted her attention. She gave me an encouraging smile and I dared to take a photo of her. After some hesitation I asked her whether she will take a photo with me. She seemed happy to be recognized and agreed for a picture. Coming back to my seat, all flushed with emotions I heard the talk of the people around me. “Who is she? Is she a famous gymnast?”

Well, she did become a famous gymnast. But before that she was the hero of my teenage years.  Probably my fascination with her and with the other girls from the team was related to the fact that she managed to achieve something at an age that I still believed that I had to perform well in school to make my parents happy. Maybe I admired her because my childhood was still running through my veins and I would still climb trees and run on the school’s corridors attempting somersaults and gymnastics moves.

To me, each world championship in the 90’s was similar to a Sailor Moon episode in which a team of teenage girls dressed in Sailor Senshi uniforms would always win the battle with their enemy. Just like the Japanese anime characters our girls always managed to summon their special powers that made them fly over the uneven bars and perform supernatural moves on floor and beam. And they always returned home with the medals. Little by little they brought back the gold, silver, and bronze treasury which made Romanians so happy, so satisfied, and so proud. The team would be received at the airport by officials eager to shake hands and take pictures with the medaled gymnasts, associating themselves with the conquest of the treasury and breathing their golden success. As if those conquests were an immense sun appeared to cast away the shadows of the post-communist insecurity. A short while after each battle, the girls’ smiles would shine from the cover of the magazines or from large side-of-the-road advertising billboard and then quietly fade away at Deva. Here, the girls would shut themselves off from the commoners’ world to prepare for a new adventure.  

In the last episode of the Sailor Moon series, Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon) managed to defeat her nemesis (Sailor Galaxia) and lead her team to supreme victory restoring light, peace, and justice all over the universe. Just before the last curtain fall Usagi Tsukino is pictured in her commoner clothes aspiring to a normal teenage life, tired of battles, in love with the world and with her boyfriend. Right now she is probably taking a stroll on the crowded streets in Tokyo making people wonder where and when they saw that face before? 

Article by: Luisa B



The second issue of the magazine dedicated to Romanian Gymnastics is out. It seems to be as interesting as the first one, if not even better. It contains:
- An absolutely delightful interview with the gymnasts from Deva (Madalina Blendea & co);
- An interview with Ana Tamarjan and another one with Cristinel Micu;
- Articles about the competitions where the Romanian boys and girls were seen in the last months;
and many more very insightful articles.

Read it HERE.


Moscow World Cup start list