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Forminte Returns as Romanian Head Coach
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The Romanian Gymnastics Federation reappointed Nicolae Forminte as head coach of the Romanian women's team on Thursday. Pictured: Forminte at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where Romania won the team bronze.

Forminte, head coach of Romania from 2005 to 2010, will take charge and the senior national team will return to the training center at Deva, where only the juniors have trained for several years. Larisa Iordache, Cătălina Ponor and Anamaria Ocolișan, however, will remain at the training center in Bucharest with their personal coaches.

The decision comes after a nightmare year for Romania, in which the team failed to qualify a full team for the Olympic Games for the first time since 1968, ending a streak in which the Romanian women won a team medal at every Olympic Games from 1976 to 2012. The team had been decimated by injury and retirements, particularly among the "lost" generation: the two dozen or so juniors identified in 2012 as hopefuls for 2016 squad. There were numerous coaching changes, and coaching legends Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang returned for a brief period in 2016.

Adrian Stoica, president of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation, said the federation had examined its own responsibilities for the problems.

"We've had an extremely cruel recent period with what has befallen our gymnastics," Stoica said. "Sure, there were some mistakes, and perhaps more than a few of our own, that had direct repercussions on the overall results, errors which we want to avoid going forward. Above all, we decided for greater responsibility for the athletes and team coaches to maximize the process of training and competition for the national team … and to bring to the fore new talents from the club."

The immediate goal is to prepare the contenders for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, and the new plans in place should maximize Romania's chances, Forminte said.

"The new organizational principles will ensure gymnasts training with a unified concept of preparing methodologically and technically, especially on the apparatus that gives us the most troubles, uneven bars," said Forminte, who was the personal coach of three-time Olympic champion Simona Amânar. "We have a program capable of meeting the rigors of intense talent whose value can climb."

Forminte will return to Deva, where he will be assisted by Liliana Cosma, Florin Cotuțiu, Daniela Nicolai, Remus Nicolai and Adela Popa. The national team of seniors and juniors set to train at Deva was identified as Olivia Cîmpean, Alesia Botnaru, Carmen Ghiciuc, Ioana Crișan, Carmen Glăvan, Denisa Florea, Alexandra Mihai, Andra Anghelescu, Beatrice Butunoi, Denisa Golgotă, Laura Iacob, Nica Ivănuș, Ariadna Stanciu, Laura Jurca, Dora Vulcan, Maria Holbură, Denisa Stanciu, Camelia Anghel, Alexia Borăscu, Ioana Stănciulescu and Antonia Duță.

The youth team in Onești is coached by Raluca Bugner, along with Ioana Grava, Florin Uzum, Ramona Micu and Marius Vintilă. The gymnasts currently training there are Iulia Berar, Maria Pană, Diana Mandrea, Ana Maria Puiu, Ioana Oprea, Teodora Manolache, Coleen Tătaru, Silvia Sfiringu, Daniela Trică and Luiza Popa.

The federation said that Iordache, Ponor and Ocolișan, who expressed their desire to keep training in Bucharest, will be given full support for their training. The federation also decided that Diana Bulimar, Daniela Ciurusniuc and Silvia Zarzu will be released from the national team to continue training at clubs, but can return if they make progress.

External Link: Romania Gymnastics Federation

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