3 gold medals for Larisa Iordache at the Doha World Cup

Diana Bulimar, Larisa Iordache and Isabela Onishko

             The Doha World Cup is quickly becoming the season start favourite for the Romanian senior team. For the second year in a row, the top WAG and MAG Romanian gymnasts were sent to compete at this event, with Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar (who is coming back from a knee injury that kept her out of the 2013 Worlds), Andrei Muntean, Marius Berbecar and Vlad Cotuna all competing for the first time this season. Last year, the Romanian team (which also included Flavius Koczi, now retired) won 6 medals here and Larisa competed two vaults for the first time, moving on to medal on this apparatus at the European Championship (silver).

             On Wednesday, the Romanians qualified to the women’s vault, beam and floor finals and the men’s rings, vault and parallel bars finals that were then split into two days of competition. In the first day, Larisa competed on vault to win the event with a double-twisting Yurchenko and a full-twisting Tsukahara (14.337 average) while Andrei placed fourth in the rings final, very close to winning the silver medal (15.400).

             The second day of competition saw the Romanians compete in four of the five finals of the day. Andrei was the first to go, on vault, his first major final on this apparatus. He placed fourth again but the fact that he is making finals on this event as well is encouraging (his best events so far have been rings and parallel bars).

             Larisa had placed first on beam in qualification and she did the same in the final, with a 6.3 routine which doesn’t bring anything new from last year. Diana, who placed fourth here, was shaky and obviously needs a bit more time to be back to her usual form after the injury.

             We had high hopes that Marius would prove us wrong in the parallel bars final and perform another clean routine. He is so capable of medaling on this event but he doesn’t seem to be able to perform two clean routines in the same competition. Unfortunately, he followed the same line here and placed seventh (13.450) after having won qualifications…

             In the last event of the day with Romanian presence, Larisa and Diana performed on floor to place first and second. It was wonderful seeing Diana back on her favorite event and she did well for her first official competition after last year’s injury (14.300). The gymnasts have one more month to prepare for the upcoming European Championship where competition will definitely be tougher.

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