Romanian Gymnastics Fan at World Gymnastics Championships
...I have returned from
the World Championships in Aarhus. The scores have been known
for nearly a week, so there seems little to add.
I know the results for Romania were not
as high flying as one would have dreamed (a fourth place women's
team finish is rough), but I think the women made an excellent
debut for a fresh team. If they can get a little more depth,
they'll totally rock. As for Dragulescu,
man, what a credit he is to gymnastics; a real Romanian national
But this World's looks fated to go down
as the story of the rise of the Chinese--and the return of
the Cold War to gymnastics.
Forgive my cheering a Ukrainian, but I was
most excited by Krasnyanska's gold on beam. I've been watching
that amazing Russian lever routine she does for at least a
year and a half, now, and seeing her finally grab a gold medal
for it was completely awesome to me. And it should be noted
that her uneven bars routine from, I think, the previous night,
looked INCREDIBLE--until she flubbed in the middle. But it
too shows spectacular promise, and I'm eager to see it get
perfected; it could become the bars equivalent of that crowd-pleasing
Russian lever. I love the Romanians, but on a personal note
I'd pick Krasnyanska as my highlight! ;-)
things were clear to me at the event:
1) The Romanians are the proudest gymnastics fans on earth
(evident in part from the giant flag -see photo at right
by Andrew Kerr- draped against
the wall behind the balance beam)*
[*nice to hear that, it's our Project]
Dragulescu is Romania's gymnastics MVP bar none, and
3) while coming up short of (probably what were always over-inflated)
expectations, the women's team shows great promise.
To brush the negative out of the
way first, clearly a fourth place finish for Romania's women's
team came as something of a shock. It's also clear that few
saw China's dominance coming; this clearly shifted a lot of
things around. I would proffer (not as an expert, but as one
who likes to proffer on things he knows nothing about) that
the Romanian women's team actually did extremely well considering
how untested they were.
The last thing I want to see is the coaches
"get tough" on the athletes in some sort of B&Bish Draconian
way in an overreaction to this first major competition result.
Izbasa's silver is nothing to sneer at.
It seems with the deft movement of a few
more chess pieces the Romanians could be back on the podium--and
two medals, I think the crowd seemed to favor Diego Hypolito's
floor exercise to Dragulescu's, if only because it appeared
to our admittedly untrained eyes that Dragulescu
had made some sort of mistake on one of his passes, and Hypolito's
routine looked flawless. But I suspect the degree of difficulty
must account for Dragulescu's higher score. And as for the
vault, what can I say? Vintage Dragulescu. In a peculiar way
I'm glad he fell from the high bar--it proved that he was
actually human. ;-)
As for the personal experience of being in Aarhus,
the weather went from drizzly to monsoon-like during the first
few days of major competition, but the sun made a welcome
appearance on Saturday.
We saw a lot of gymnasts wandering about
town, but I didn't catch sight of the Romanians, or at least
not knowingly. We stayed in a small town called Ry, 30 minute's
train ride from Aarhus, for the first two nights of major
competition, and then (very luckily) snagged a hotel room
in the Aarhus Cabb Inn for Friday and Saturday.
Nothing beats seeing this stuff live, so
I would encourage all gymnastics fans to try to experience
a gymnastics meet in person at least once! :-)
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