Anna Rose writes about another Nations selection for the upcoming World Championships, Romania.
Please note that this post was written prior to the newly updated participants list. So for that reason Diana Bulimars replacement, Stefania Stanila has not been written about.
Although Romania did not win any medals at the 2011 World Championships (for the first time since 1981!), they rebounded strongly at the 2012 Olympics to win the team bronze, the vault gold (Sandra Izbasa), and the floor silver (Catalina Ponor). This year, Romania’s senior elite squad dispersed to a degree, as Ponor, Diana Chelaru, and Raluca Haidu disappeared from competition, greatly adding to the disappointment of Ana Porgras’ retirement in early 2012. But three very strong and tested gymnasts wanted to be ready for the World Championships, so they continued. These talented ladies were all 2012 Olympians: Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, and Sandra Izbasa.
Diana Bulimar improved even more after her successful Olympic Games, impressing the gymnastics world at the 2013 European Championships (fourth in the AA, second on beam, and third on floor). After continuing to showcase brilliant skills all summer long, she underwent surgery on her knee earlier this month. Sadly, this means she will not be able to participate in the World Championships. I hope she continues next year for the 2014 World Championships!
Larisa Iordache has won three European gold medals and an Olympic bronze. At Worlds, she has the potential to win balance beam and contend in the all-around final. This will be her first World Championships, which is hard to imagine since she has been noted as a “big name” for a long time! Unfortunately, Larisa he has been suffering from injuries as of late, so while she may not be 100% in Antwerp, she will definitely be in the mix for medals! Larisa has the possibility of qualifying to all five individual finals at Worlds (as she has two vaults), which will make the preliminary round of competition quite interesting for her fans. Historically, uneven bars has not been Romania’s top event; but Larisa just added in a new release move to her routine! So that might boost her scores in the future.
Sandra Izbasa is a veteran of two World Championships and two Olympic Games. At those major meets, she won the World all-around bronze and the beam silver (2006), the Olympic floor gold (2008), and the Olympic vault gold (2012)! Sandra is planning to temporarily retire after these Worlds. While she has said she is not focusing on earning her first World title, Sandra does have the chance to come away with at least the floor exercise gold. She currently holds the highest floor score in this new Code, which is exciting! I am unsure whether or not she will compete vault at these Worlds. To the best of my knowledge, Sandra was not planning to, but when the nominative list came out, it stated she would do vault. So it’s a little bit up in the air! (She did not compete vault in either competition since her comeback, so I am guessing she will only do floor.) As I really enjoy watching Sandra perform, I am hoping she can win a floor medal and close her career (temporarily or not) on a high note.