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Romanian Nationals Begin
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Sandra Izbasa in Ploiesti

Sandra Izbasa and Marian Dragulescu led their clubs to victory Friday as the Romanian National Championships opened in Ploiesti.

Izbasa scored a meet-high 16.325 on balance beam to lead Steaua Bucuresti to the club title. She also performed a very strong floor exercise routine, though it may have been judged generously at 16.000. During training, Izbasa practiced her tumbling over and over with head coach Nicolae Forminte, but will most need to improve her uneven bars if she wants to medal in the all-around at the Olympics in August.

World all-around silver medalist Steliana Nistor missed Friday's competition because she was taking her baccalaureat exams. She will compete Saturday and Sunday in the Romanian International Open competition, which will determine the 2008 national champions as well.

Cerasela Patrascu, who suffered injuries to both knees at the European Championships, performed uneven bars and balance beam for second-place Cetate Deva. It seems that she is recovering well from the injury, although she didn't do hard tumbling or difficult dismounts. Although she fell off the beam after her layout, she showed that she can compete again after the injury that required meniscus surgery.

Ana Maria Tamarjan trained but will sit out the competition with a sore groin.

Dragulescu earned a 16.700 for his namesake vault to help Dinamo Bucuresti defend its team title. Flavius Koczi was the top all-around scorer of the day with 91.450, and clubmate Razvan Selariu was second best with 89.550. The second team was Bistrita, where the men's junior national team trains.

Dragulescu competed floor exercise, vault and high bar, while clubmate, 2007 world vault silver medalist Daniel Popescu, didn't do vault and fell off pommel horse. Dragulescu, who missed the 2007 Worlds and 2008 Europeans with a back injury, seemed happy with his results.

Competition continues Saturday with the open all-around competition.

Download results

Izbasa on floor exercise in Ploiesti



Patrascu on balance beam in Ploiesti

Patrascu on uneven bars in Ploiesti

Acatrinei on floor exercise in Ploiesti


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