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Despite Recent Injury, Dragulescu Ready To Shine In Rio
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Eight-time world champion and three-time Olympic medalist Marian Dragulescu of Romania told IG that not even a recent injury will distract him from vying for vault gold at next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 35-year-old Dragulescu, who earned a vault berth to Rio when he won silver on that apparatus at last fall’s World Championships in Glasgow, tweaked his right ankle on a tumbling pass in training on June 23.

“I was trying to do three-and-a-half (twists) but I started the move very badly,” said Dragulescu, who has won four world titles on floor exercise and four world titles on vault. “I was over-rotated, I stopped at two-and-a half and the landing surprised me. I was feeling a lot of pain on my right ankle, and I was very scared because my ligaments were reconstructed and I have pieces of metal on my right ankle.”

Dragulescu, who won two silvers (floor, team) and a bronze (vault) at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, is confident that he can challenge for vault gold in Rio. He placed first on floor and vault at the Romanian Championships held July 1-3 in Cluj-Napoca.

“Nothing will stop me from getting to Rio and doing my best,” he told IG. “I need to shine at that very moment. I need to be close to perfection!”

Read “Golden Quest,” an interview with Dragulescu, in the January/February 2016 issue of International Gymnast magazine; and “Here and Now,” a cover story/interview on Dragulescu, in the May 2001 issue. To order back issues or subscribe, click here.

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