Bellu: Romanians Must Challenge Themselves
(13 votes, average 4.69 out of 5)

Back at the helm of the Romanian women's program, coach Octavian Bellu said he has instructed his gymnasts to compete with themselves first at next week's world championships in Rotterdam.

Octavian Bellu is back to lead the Romanian women's team in Rotterdam.

"I told them not to fight with the gymnasts from the U.S., Russia or China, but to challenge themselves, their own limits, their own possibilities at this moment," Bellu said. "I hope the girls compete in Rotterdam at a level which, above all else, gives them satisfaction."

Bellu and partner Mariana Bitang returned to overseeing the women's team in June, after a five-year absence in which they worked for the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee. The coaching pair led Romania to five straight team titles at the world championships from 1994 to 2001, and back-to-back Olympic team victories in 2000 and 2004.

Romanian's roster for Rotterdam includes Olympic floor exercise champion Sandra Izbasa, returning from a torn Achilles, and world bronze medalist Ana Porgras, returning from a broken ankle.

"The girls are at the level I could get them to in a short period of training, especially because most of them had stopped training because of injury," he said. "It was not easy, but the girls worked, they tried, they took part in competitions which, in my opinion, had no real stake, like the tri-meet in Switzerland or the national championships. I am convinced that they know that a world championship is something else."

Without Izbasa, the Romanian women took third behind Russia and Great Britain at the 2010 European Championships. The Romanian team has several contenders for individual medals in Rotterdam, particularly Izbasa and Porgras. But Izbasa said she will be all about the team final in Rotterdam, where the Romanians will have to overcome weaknesses on vault and uneven bars to challenge China, Russia and the U.S. for the title.

"I don't plan on winning any [individual] medals," she said. "For me the most important thing is to come back and help my team. The fact that I can lend a hand to help the girls in the team competition matters most. I watched several videos of the Russian and American women. The gymnasts are strong and the competition will be quite high."

Bellu reiterated that Rotterdam will be a stop along the road toward the 2012 Olympics in London.

"We must present ourselves to the world and to test what we have right now as we prepare for the Olympics," he said.

The 2010 Worlds kick off Sunday with the opening ceremonies at the Ahoy Arena.

External Link: Romanian Gymnastics Federation

Stay tuned to IG Online for complete coverage from the 2010 World Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam.

Comments (3)add comment

A.R. said:

Bellu and Bitiang
I am so upset that this Bellu guy and Bitang are working as coaches
of the Romanian team after all the verbal and physical abuse they have
done to gymnasts in the past. I am glad that at least Sabina Cojocar
had the guts to talk and tell the media and so did Marinescu.
I wish these guys stop mistreating the girls,but if they continue
some other gymnast is going to get hurt. If the girls in the senior team
get hit by this guy they should alert the media and videotape him because
he can't be hitting gymnasts for the rest of his life and if the gymnasts
don't do anything he will. smilies/angry.gif
October 12, 2010 | url
Votes: -1

nelS81 said:

bellu and bitang
If girls such as Cojacar (amongst others.....) couldn't accept the work, they should have themselves removed from the program. This is not a sport for the weak, once one reaches a certain level. They (the girls) know exacty what is expected of them and what is at stake. Go big, or go home, brother.......don't know what else to tell ya smilies/wink.gif
October 13, 2010
Votes: -1

romanian gymnastics said:

romanian gymnastics
im so sad that romanian gymnastics isnt at the standard it use to be atsmilies/cry.gif they are my second fav gymnastics team in the word (behind australia because i am australian). hopefully Bellu still has his magic and that they can regain there strength for 2011 worlds and 2012 olympics.smilies/smiley.gif
November 13, 2010
Votes: +0

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