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Remember: 1987 Moscow European Championships

For the third chapter of our Remember Series we are going back to that wonderful decade of the 1980s when Artistic gymnastics could truly be called that…Artistic! Routines back then included some of the difficult skills still performed today with choreography and artistry still at the forefront of most routines. It was gymnastics at its best!

Photo by Tom Theobald.  Check out Tom’s photography site!

1987 would prove to be an amazing year for Romanian gymnastics with the women’s team (trained by Adrian Goreac, Octavian Bellu, Adrian Stan and Maria Cosma) dominating the two most important competitions of the season: the Rotterdam World Championships and the Moscow Europeans, an individual All-around and event finals competition held at the Olimpiisky Sports Complex (May 21-24, 1987). With gymnasts such as Daniela Silivaș (Beam World Champion at that time), Camelia Voinea and Eugenia Golea (both silver medalists at the 1985 Worlds), Marian Rizan (silver medalist on Parallel Bars at the 1984 Junior Europeans), Marius Gherman (bronze medalist on Horizontal Bar at the 1985 Europeans) and Levente Molnar competing at this event, Romania brought home a total of 10 medals (4 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze).

All-Around Final

15-year-old Daniela Silivaș – already a World Champion at 13, when she won the 1985 Montreal balance beam final – became the star of this championship, medaling in every event she competed in: 4 gold medals and a silver. Her rivalry with Elena Shushunova (3 time World Champion at that time) was also evident here, although this certainly wasn’t one of the latter’s best performances: a fall on her uneven bars dismount led her to place third in the All-around, behind her team mate Aleftina Pryakhina. Instead, Daniela performed beautifully to obtain the top scores on all four events and win her first and only major All-around title (she would go on to win bronze at Worlds that year and silver at next year’s Seoul Olympics). Here is what Daniela said after her All-around win (from Gymn Forum):

People kept asking me: what helped me win? I think it was the desire to win, the years of training and also the splendid hall and the very friendly atmosphere that prevailed, which urged one to go all out. And I set myself the task — now or never!

Her team mates, Eugenia Golea and Camelia Voinea came in 5th and 8th overall while, in the men’s competition – event won by none other than Valeri Liukin – Marius Gherman placed 7th, with Marian Rizan and Levente Molnar in 11th and 34th position, respectively.

You can find links to the Romanian women’s routines below:

All-around

Vault

Uneven Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

1. Daniela Silivaș

9.900

9.925

9.950

10

39.775

2. Aleftina Pryakhina

9.900

9.900

9.800

9.875

39.475

3. Diana Dudeva

9.750

9.900

9.725

9.825

39.200

3. Elena Shushunova

9.900

9.500

9.900

9.900

39.200

5. Eugenia Golea

9.500

9.775

9.800

9.750

39.175

8. Camelia Voinea

9.700

9.725

9.175

9.950

38.550

Event Finals

Daniela continued to dominate in event finals, with the exception of vault where Elena Shushunova proved more powerful in her full and double twisting Yurchenko vaults. Neither Daniela nor Eugenia were able to match this but finished second and third on the event. Daniela then went on to win the other three events, scoring another perfect 10 for her floor routine (her third of the competition on this apparatus). Although it is difficult to point out which of the three is her best apparatus, her 5 gold medals at the Olympics, Worlds and Europeans indicate that floor was Daniela’s most successful event.

In the beam and floor finals, Eugenia and Camelia collected two more silver medals for Romania: the first stood out with her three flics into a double twisting dismount off beam while the later combined powerful tumbling with an innovative choreography in her floor routine. To top off the medal collection at this championship, Marian Rizan contributed with two more bronze medals on Pommel Horse and Parallel Bars. Find links to their routines here:

WAG

Vault

Uneven Bars

Beam

Floor

Daniela Silivaș

19.806 (2)

19.900 (1)

19.875 (1)

20 (1)

Eugenia Golea

19.700 (3)

19.538 (7)

19.663 (2)

Camelia Voinea

19.938 (2)

MAG

Vault

Pommel Horse

Parallel Bars

Horizontal Bar

Marian Rizan

19.575 (3)

19.375 (3)

Marius Gherman

19.313 (7)

19.600 (4)

Watch the Women’s All-around competition and Event Finals here:

This post is also available in: Romanian