Photo by Silvia Vatteroni
The 30th edition of the European Champion was a major success for the Romanian team. Both juniors and seniors proved their worth, by winning 9 medals (two gold, five silver and two bronze) in the competition.

The medals won by the Romanians in the senior competition outnumber the medals won by the Russians, but thanks to the Russian juniors, the Russians topped the medal table. Larisa Iordache, Romania’s most valuable gymnast, is the most decorated senior gymnast in Sofia, She won four medals, 2 gold in team and floor finals, a silver on beam and a bronze on vault. Iordache was also the only senior gymnast who qualified to all four event finals.

The Romanians who were the title defenders, won their 7th European title.

“We have proved that we are a team and I’m very proud of my team” said Bulimar. “In the morning of the team competition I woke up with a good feeling that we are going to win. Also I was thinking of the new seniors and how will they carry themselves at their first major competition but in the end it turned out to be exactly as we wanted it. I’m so happy for the little ones, they managed to do well at the competition. I learned from Sandra and Catalina how to keep the team together.”

On her performance in the team final, Larisa said that “I started good on vault, bars weren’t that good, on beam I didn’t do my best routine and on floor I’ve made some extra steps”.

Andreea Munteanu who took a fall on her beam dismount in the qualification, told the press that she is glad, she has won the gold medal with her team.

“My performance in the first day of competition was a little bit weak for me, but I managed to pass over it, to start all over again. I am very happy that I managed to execute my routines the way I wanted. Mr. Bellu said that we should leave the feeling of pressure behind and to do our job the best way we can. I also heard our fans cheering for us and I want to thank them all”

Romanian head coach Octavian Bellu told MediaFax that he wasn’t sure if the team could win the gold “It was a difficult competition. We had to pull ourselves together after the mistakes we had in the qualification, mistakes that everybody have seen. I must say that Great Britain, Russia, Germany and even Italy gave us difficult competition, we were challenged in every rotation. We had to do 3 solid floor routines in the last rotation in order to win and thankfully we did. I wasn’t sure that we could get the gold, but after the beam rotation, I told myself that if we do 3 solid floor routines, the gold is ours.”

The even finals were a success for the Romanians, Larisa Iordache won 3 medals, bronze on vault, silver on beam and tied Vanessa Ferrari of Italy for gold on floor. In Uneven Bars final Larisa placed 6th. While Diana Bulimar finished in 4th position on floor.

After the competition Larisa said, she wanted badly to win the gold medal on beam “I’m sorry that I have made you all nervous. It was good and difficult at the same time, the 3rd apparatus to compete on at that day. But I’m happy that I managed to successfully finish the competition without big mistakes. Ms. Mariana and Mr. Bellu told me that if I feel tired, I can pull out of certain finals, but it was better for me this way. It would have been hard for me to wait for an hour to compete. The most important thing for me was that I managed to qualify in the UB final and I consider my placement on the event, an honor. We are hoping, we can improve our bars routines the best we can.”

Despite not winning a medal on floor, after last year’s bronze medal in Moscow, Diana Bulimar told that she is not sad, although the same source says that she cried after the competition. “I’m not sad, seriously I’m not. I’m happy. Now you do realize that I would have wanted a medal but I think that the most important thing is that we managed to become a team and managed to bring home gold. Of course that we would have wanted more.”

Written by Alex Mladinescu


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