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Mariana Bitang and Octavian Bellu interview

Octavian Bellu: “Our hope is to medal in London. How many medals, what color or if we will win any, we´ll have to wait and see. But the team has proven it is capable to fight for medals. If the girls do their job well, then results will come.”

On the amazing performance at the European Championships

I honestly wasn´t expecting to win so many medals at Euros. What I want you to know is that we do not train for a certain number of medals, we have trained for the European Championships. Circumstances, if a gymnast is in shape or not, how we stand versus our competitors can influence the final results in such a competition. We are happy the girls fulfilled their training plan.

On the next training stage

We have a clear plan which we hope to fulfill at the Olympics. The girls had some goals for this European Championship, they came back with medals so this was good. I´m glad we are on schedule. This championship is a breath of fresh air, we will approach the Olympics with more confidence while we try to keep the girls grounded. What happened in Brussels is now in the past. We had Russia as our traditional competitor here.

On the competition at the Olympics

The Russians grew stronger as the competition went on and at the Olympics they´ll be joined by the United States and Russia. I am certain Russia will look very different in London, the competition will be much harder. We are going back to training confident but there are many things to do. Unfortunately, we will not be going to many competitions before the Games.”

On the competitions the girls will be in before the Olympics

We will be in a competition against Germany, Italy and France in Bucharest. There are also the World Cup competitions in Ghent, Osiek and Maribor, but those are individual ones and are less important from a team´s point of view. We will consider competing if this is useful for less experienced girls or for those who will want to try out new combinations. We will try to increase difficulty and improve execution.

On the objective for the Olympic Games

Putting pressure on the girls by talking about a certain number of medal is definitely out of the question. This will be very different to Brussels. If the girls do their job well, then results will come. How many medals, what color or if we will win any, we´ll have to wait and see. But the team has proven it is capable to fight for medals. We hope we won´t let anyone down.

Mariana Bitang: “Our objective for London? To do well.”

I wasn´t expecting so many medals, I was just expecting the girls to do well. They did well in every previous competition and their training was on schedule. You never know how many medals you will win. What is next for the girls? More training.

We cannot afford to take breaks in gymnastics, this sport does not allow a lot of time off to relax. You immediately gain weight. We will have another competition before the Olympic Games – beginning of July, just 2 weeks before we leave for London – and this is where we need your help (the press).

Romania has rarely been able to organize such a competition and now that everyone has heard we are holding this, they all want to join. We hope we will be able to find the necessary funds to organize it as the competition podium is 70,000 euros.”

Original interview by Adrian Ilincescu for Hotnews.ro here.