Romania announce Olympic team

Hot on the heels of Mother Russia’s bombshell came the news from Deva. Unlike the Russians, no formal announcement about those already selected had been made, but we all knew four spots were locks and the only question was over number 5. And so it was.

The team:

Larisa Iordache

Catalina Ponor

Sandra Izbasa

Diana Bulimar

Diana Chelaru

Stoi! has previously discussed the race for the final berth between Chelaru, Amelia Racea and Raluca Haidu. Haidu got the nod for Euros and, highly unusually, hit her bars set twice. With that in mind, we rather thought she was the frontrunner. Evidently not.

At first glance, it seems rather odd to take a power gymnast on a team whose only real weakness is bars. Chelaru did train a (minging) Amanar in 2011, but there’s been neither sight nor sound of it since. She has done only DTYs this year, including at last weekend’s competition between Romania, France and Germany. Here she is, first up:

So the Amanar would be cutting it fine indeed. With that in mind, and until we hear otherwise, we’re going to assume she isn’t there to bolster the vault lineup in TFs, or indeed any event.

Basically, the four locks have everything covered between them. Including most of the insurance routines. Izbasa appears to be back on bars, as far as a person can be back when they were a bag of shite in the first place. Ten minutes in:

If she can reliably score similarly to Haidu and Racea, neither of whom is a model of consistency on the event, that renders both useless for TFs. So too is Chelaru, really, but that’s how things have worked out.

Ultimately, Romania don’t actually need a 5th gymnast to achieve their optimum lineup. But since they’ve got a spot, they might as well use it. Basically, Chelaru is going to London for all the same reasons as she went to Scam. They could slap Belu in a leotard instead, I suppose, but it seems rather more dignified to send a gymnast to cover vault and bars in prelims and mind the jackets in TFs. And less hairy.

Porgras was always supposed to get the last spot, and would have complimented the other four beautifully, but she’s now busy with cheesy clubs and bad hair- endeavours which which Stoi! wishes her nothing but the best, incidentally. And at least we’re all spared the utter farce of a (very probably) medal winning team that contains a bars specialist who can’t break 14.

14 responses to “Romania announce Olympic team

  • emmasrandomthoughts

    I think Larisa’s music is far superior to either Mustafina’s for Komova’s music.

  • Stoi!

    I think it’s silly to rule anyone out for bronze if they can feasibly score mid 58s. The fact is that there are usually falls/missed routines from even top AAers, and it’s hardly as if the AAers who are better than Izbasa are immune from this. 2 of the 3 American contenders, 2 of the 3 Russians and 2 of the 3 Chinese have what might be charitably described as consistency problems.

  • Stoi!

    If Sandra had the Cheng then I don’t think she could be ruled out totally: if she were to score 15.5 on vault and 14.8s on beam and floor she’d have a 3 event total of 45.1ish. Meaning a 13.5 would leave her at about 58.5- similar to what Yao Jinnan got for bronze in Tokyo. It would take falls from others, but it’s not like that can be ruled out. I think 6th place ish is probably more realistic, though. Particularly as there’s no guarantee she’ll have the Cheng.

    • Jule

      To say that Izbasa has a chance to medal is like saying that Iordache is a lock for AA gold. You can not compare Tokyo with London, as in Tokyo there were only 3 gymnasts who had a shot for gold (Wieber, Komova and Yao). Now we have 6 (+ Douglas, Mustafina and Iordache). It will be a sad day for gymnastics if she scores more than these 6 girls.

    • Stoi!

      My dream is that none of the 6 girls who SHOULD qualify to the top group (Komova, Mustafina, Douglas, Wieber, Iordache, Jinnan) manage to fuck things up in qualifications so they can all rotate together. Komova & Douglas should be the clear leaders after 2 rotations, but Jinnan makes up ground on bars (and beam), Iordache on beam and floor.

      My guess is that Izbasa qualifies in the second group.

      She shouldn’t place higher than 7th or 8th unless there’s catastrophes all over the gym floor. Which is always a possibility.

      – B

  • christina

    I don’t think Sandra has any chances for an AA medal, she’s pretty much a 2 event gymnast (with excellent chances for medals in those 2 events). Kind of funny how we all complain about the 5 members team (and I wish it becomes 6/7 members again) and every team of the big 4 could be very well competitive with just 4 gymnasts

    • Stoi!

      I could definitely see Sandra qualifying in the second group (7-12), and starting on bars. Her beam scores around a 15 when she’s on, but still pales in comparison when you have Bulimar, Iordache, and Ponor on your team.

      They’re so very deep on beam and floor, just such a shame about bars.

      – B

  • BLAH

    GOOD GOD !!!
    Ponor’s leo’s are consistenly getting higher and thinner with each competition. At this rate she’s only gonna have one lip covered at the olympic games !!!

  • Stoi!

    Bulimar probably wouldn’t vault. She quite often sits it out. I think Iordache and Izbasa as the AAers is just fine. Iordache is an AA contender and I suppose if Izbasa does have the Cheng then she has an outside chance for bronze. But athletes are likely to have to perform better than the top 3 did in Tokyo to get on the AA podium for London.

  • poths

    Amazing post, cracked up on Izbasa comment- she is amazing though so give her kudos when she retains in London 😉 . Gutted for Haidu who stole my heart in that documentary on Deva. As shite as her bars are, Wieber managed to win worlds with a 13, Sandra may be a top 6 factor for the AA now???!

    The fact remains, if Chelaru does ANYTHING other than bars in team qualifiers it will actually mean Bulimar won’t have a chance to qualify for the AA. If Romania are only pushing two a la 2004 (where they were fcked when Ban was injured and only had Safronie in the AA) I think it’s a mistake, Bulimar could easily spring a surprise and at the very least surpass Izbasa.

    Ergo, I’m hoping against hope that Chelaru does Fck all except bars and Bulimar, Izbasa, Iordache do all 4 pieces and score 58’s + with the best two going on.

    This 5 only is basically forcing countries to put forward their two AAers before the event, which is bullshit for countries like Rom, Rus and USA who have 3/4 AAers all in and around the same talent. 😦

  • Stoi!

    Cata did wear a pretty skimpy number at the weekend. That girl is surely a slave to the waxer. I don’t know how she’s managed never to flash, actually. She must glue the leotards to her flaps. fair play to her. I love that she can take years off at a time to give the Romanian tabloids something to write about, then come back and be a world beater after only a few months graft.

    Thanks for the information Roxana.

  • Catherine

    Oh god, hilarious- love the comments on Sandra, Belu in a leotard and the fab bars specialist. I did expect a comment on the disgusting photo of Cata standing at the end of the vault runway in her most obscene leotard yet..

  • M

    Lmao. Funny as hell. My favourite line “Izbasa appears to be back on bars, as far as a person can be back when they were a bag of shite in the first place” – well done

    Seriously though, it is a scary team if you ignore what they can do on bars. They are great on floor and beam and hey if they can chuck their Cheng and Amanar – then they are right there in the thick of things.

    They are a team not to be underestimated at all. Porgras would have been a good addition but she is happy in her life so I wish her all the best.

  • Roxana

    Small correction: now the headquarters are in Izvorani, near Bucharest, instead of Deva, Deva is the place of Juniors National center,

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