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Catalina Ponor
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 Main coach: Octavian Belu
 
coach Mariana Bitang
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coach Lucian Sandu


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 Main coach: Dan Grecu



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   [May 6] Catalina Ponor, the last remain of a (former) Golden Team

It takes less than a year from the success of the Romanian gymnastics team, to see the disaster from Euros. This came not surprisingly, but still unpleasant for all those who loves the Romanian gymnastics.

Catalina was still the "Angel" of the team, saving (not entirely) the Honor of Romanian gymnastics (...and B&B's), with an excellent balance beam evolution.The secret of her beam success is simple: long, very long hours of practice, Bitang-Cruella giving her much attention and devoting a lot of time. Considering that Catalina is not training on vault and uneven bars almost at all, they did have a lot of time for the balance beam.The floor exercise is suffering from the 1080 vault which became one day after another more like " 960...720... whatever". The perfect Athens landings after floor acrobatics, with the precision of a Spitfire plane, became more heavy
(still four kilos to go...out of seven) and seems to need now more landing space, like a Boening. Unfortunately, the floor carpet was not fitted for her new type of long-landings and she simply went out of space.

I can only wish they would have good coaches at team, for each apparatus; but no coach can resist on B&B' s thyrany, Belu is good on removing anybody around who can pose a threat for his position. Look at coach Forminte, which was moved to the junior "Ghost Team" , simply because Belu decided he don't like him anymore.

Floarea, the first Romanian gymnast "mercenary" (she use to represent an Italian Club), may get a transfer to the Chinese team, where she fits perfectly, those girls being known for their 110% failures in abroad contest, despite their good home evolution. It would be nice if she will also take with her the "B&B's" , which were so successful in ruining the team. This process has started from the first day of their Athens return. First, they were worried of theirs contracts and wanted to push for more money, then they hoped to push for a settlement on Petrovschi case -they have succeeded in both, but the team have lost months of proper training.

Floarea Leonida have her place secured in the team, despite her repeated failures, by mysterious criteria's; maybe her Italian-club affiliation should be lightened a bit by the ROC, ANS, if the Romanian press (still) don't have the guts to ask RGF how can the poorest country in Europe (Romania) afford to spend for training a top gymnast (well...), to be used by a foreign Club? (Same situation apply to Urzica, too) The national team is not a private team, is State funded. Maybe the FIG President, Bruno's Italian origin have something to do with this; or maybe is just that simple, plain Romanian corruption who works, once more, very well. Last October the Prosport have wrote that Catalina's mother was asked (pushed)by an RGF official to accept that Catalina would compete during 2005 for an Italian club, too. Catalina's (famous) mother has denied the offer, because of the low payment offered- $3000. Since Floarea didn't get nothing past years, we can only ask who benefited from her trips to South America and other places past years, competing for the Italian club. Using the National Team members to fill personal pockets sound like corruption or, even worst, treason of your own country. This is used in Romania in swimming, too (former Athens champion Potec is competing for a South American Club) and was widely used by the former highly corrupted Athletics Federation (one of the former big champions, Gabi Szabo, has competing during her long career mostly in paid contests, for her own benefit-and her protectors-but almost no official contest for her own country). Remember, this is Romania-the poorest European country who spend top $ to train (for free) the top athletes. Which are supposed to compete for their own country, not other ones. As a native Romanian I can ask myself (and those paid to check), why this is happening? I never heard about Carly Patterson competing for Dinamo Kiev, isn't it?...

Despite their $10 000 monthly payments, Bitang Cruella wasn't there to advice girls and Belu has disappeared after Floarea first failure-you know what they say, " the fearful rat is the first to leave the ship who sink". Girls need minute-to-minute advice's and encouragement's during major competitions, not advice's over the phone (from Cruella-left-home) or being left with coach Sandu which doesn't have the knowledge and payment of B&B's.

All major Romanian TV stations (TVR1&2, ProTv and Antena1) have mentioned the Belu's (bad) attitude of avoiding the press after Floarea's failure. Looks like their journalists have started to really do their jobs and not just being B&B's servants, as they appeared to be past years.

RGF President Vieru was " under fire" on the ProTv, for his (angry) statements about "coaches and athletes who don't put all efforts on training". The TV station accused him of using " the communist wood language" which may be somehow true-you can't change habits of a 70 years old man- but Vieru was (unfortunately) 150% true.He knows well (and only few others, including us, of course) that back in February both RGF and Bitang were practically begging girls to work harder but during that time their answer was " we are not interested to go to Euros". I told you why, before-only the Worlds Chships are considered by the ROC for the increase of their life income after retire. This is why the remaining girls from Athens try to stay until Worlds-to increase their income before leaving the team. The first one who left- Silvia Stroescu have had a Gold medal from a previous Worlds, so she don't have to bother for another edition. Oana felt she couldn't make it to the next Worlds, due to her (serious) problems at leg.

If Rosu and Eremia would leave the team next weeks -because of Cruella's ambitions, she said if they can't train properly she would not wait more for the medical clearances; of course, she isn't used to obey the doctors advice- then we have slim chances to see Catalina at Worlds. It will be difficult for her to remain almost alone (Floarea will be out of team before you know it).

The good part of this is maybe they will start build the new team-both of athletes and coaches. The Romanian gymnastics team has proved the need for a good and complete team of coaches, instead of top paid star$ who don't take their job seriously. Alina Alexoi of TVR1 , the ugly frog who only "comment" almost exactly what B&B' s likes to hear, said once more that Catalina can't compete at UB because " she don't have the basic skills needed" -meaning from her club. This is the false theory of B&B's , which they use after any failure, upsetting Ponor first coach Stanei. Ponor was the National AA Champion back in 2002, when B&B asked her to join the team. NONE of the girls from the Olympic team doesn't have UB skills, because they lack the top level training.
A good coach , a very good one, is the one who is able to train at UB-and Belu isn't one, is wasn't before and could not be in the near future. We don;t have a good team of coaches at Deva because of Belu's (dictatorships) ambitious, to remove anybody who can " take his glory" or endanger his po$ition (and their busine$$). If ROC want a good team for Athens, and not
a " we do BB and floor" team, then they have to take some steps.

The good (or bad) news is that we may not have gymnastics at all for the next Olympics, last days information's from IOC sources says they seriously think about removing gym from Olympics. The empty stands of Debrecen and the gifts given again to some male gymnasts (Romanian male referee Apolzan has explained on TVR 2 the way *they* did it again, this time to make Urzica losing a medal) is just another example.

Coming next days:
Two sensational, exclusive news for the Romanian gymnastics fans; who may have a baby soon (two babies, each in a diffrent family) and...who would be the father(s)? First three correct guesses (post on our Forum or use the contact form) may get some promotional items, limited edition series from us, from the new shop to be opened late September.


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