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[Nov 27] Surprises (good & bad) for Romanian gymnastics at Worlds


As much as Floarea Leonida has surprised everybody by finishing on 6th in AA contest, Catalina Ponor surprised the Romanian gymnastics fans by loosing the Gold medal at "her"apparatus-balance beam. Nastia had a good evolution, but I can't say she won, but rather Catalina lost.

A very sad moment for her last official contest (she will attend few smaller shows next weeks, but that's it). Catalina still remain the Queen of Athens Olympics and I'm sure her fans around the World will remember her like that.

For Romanian gymnastics this is not a disaster, since the main goal is to rebuild the team for 2008. This will be done starting with the new President of RGF (to be elected on December 9), then by deciding who is the new coach (and how to handle the delicate problem of B&B's, who still sneak around and will do their best to regain their position).
Sometime, Romanian gymnastics have lost a competition but we usually end by winning the Olympics, and this is what counts. We received tens of e-mails from fans around the world who wish their best and encourage Catalina to continue; maybe we shall publish a selection next days and also will forward to her; but as I said, her career will end this year.

At TVR1, Sunday evening, Catalina (in tears) said she was robbed at beam; maybe yes, but RGF should teach the gymnasts not to comment the scores. We have to excuse Catalina, she was under immense pressure this year and especially past few months and also we have to admire her for being the first Romanian gymnast to stand up in front of B&B's (who didn't respect her privacy at all).

from the Worlds official site:
Catalina Ponor (ROM) - Bronze Medal "I have a problem with the judges. In qualification also I had problems with the judges, there was the problem with the exchange of scores. In my opinion I don't feel they are trained well enough, I don't think they like me. I was gold medallist in Athens on the Beam and at the European Championships, and here I am only third. I'm very disappointed and unhappy with them, I'm very upset."

Marian Dragulescu said it was very difficult for him to train apart from the male team ; after his US "looking for a job" trip failure, he got permission to train alone. Now he admitted it was hard for him to push himself and he will return near the team; he want to go for Beijing Olympics (but I don't think coach Grecu will encourage him on this).

Men's Floor Exercise Final - Dragulescu (ROM) Flash Quotes
Marian Dragulescu (ROM) - 7th Place
On whether he is happy or not with his performance: "No I'm not happy at all, I'm disappointed. I think I was a little bit too relaxed out there. I should have done better. "
On coming 7th at a World Championships: "Seventh at a World Championships is not a bad thing, but I think I could have won. I worked very hard in training and I'm pretty upset."
On what he could have done better: "No there is nothing, I like my routine. I think I performed well in qualification, and I really hoped to have done better today, but this is gymnastics and sometimes it happens like this."

Marta Karoly, the US main coach, gave also an interview for TVR1, saying that she has proved that consistent training, hard work "and discipline" is a successful system in gymnastics. Yeah, we already know that, since the Russians have invented it, back in 60's. This system does not fit even the present European Union standards for the...training of circus animals; those need to be feed better, and abuses of any kind are strictly forbidden. Karoly husbands have build their career (past & present) by pushing to limits (some says far beyond any limits) hundreds of children, first in Romania, then in US. Marta, the Cruella of Romanian gymnastics during 70's (same story, she was "the bad guy", not Karoly) will eat her tongue in Beijing, after we shall won the Gold...again.


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