Romania announced its world teams to the upcoming world championships, with the women's squad preparing for a final pre-worlds warm-up in Great Britain. Pictured: Sandra Izbasa
Romania announced its world teams to the upcoming world championships, with the women's squad preparing for a final pre-worlds warm-up in Great Britain.
The Romanian team announcement was complicated by the current status of two expected members of the world team — stars Catalina Ponor and Marian Dragulescu — who officially announced their comebacks April 1. The FIG requires gymnasts be registered at least six months before major international competition to comply with drug-testing regulations.
Romania entered a women's team of Diana Bulimar, Diana Chelaru, Raluca Haidu, Sandra Izbasa, Ana Porgras and Amelia Racea, with alternate Daniela Andrei. The men's squad is currently Cristian Bataga, Marius Berbecar, Ovidiu Buidoso, Adrian Bucur, Vlad Cotuna and Flavius Koczi, with alternate Andrei Muntean.
The world championships take place Oct. 7-16 in Tokyo. Fans can expect Ponor and Dragulescu to compete, said Mircea Apolzan, secretary-general of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation.
"Under FIG rules, they have the right to enter competition only starting Oct. 1," Apolzan said. "They will join the lineup upon our team's arrival in Tokyo."
The Romanian women, minus Andrei, will be back in action this weekend in Great Britain. The team competes Saturday and Sunday in a tri-meet against Great Britain and Portugal at Lilleshall, the British national training center.
Both Romanian teams finished out of the medals at the 2010 Worlds in Rotterdam, with the women placing fourth and the men ninth. The women picked up a gold medal on balance beam from Porgras and silver on floor exercise from Chelaru, while the men left empty-handed. The Romanian federation is setting modest goals for Tokyo.
"Our objectives are clear: to get one or two medals, plus some top-six placings," Apolzan said. "We must stress, however, that these worlds championships are the first Olympic qualifying event and, of course, we wish and hope our gymnasts will achieve this qualification. According to the rules, the first eight teams from the first day of competition in Tokyo will get tickets for the Olympics in London. A second qualifying event will take place in January in London at the pre-Olympic tournament, but we hope we don't need to get there."
External Link: Romanian Gymnastics Federation