Ana Luiza Filiorianu, fourth at the Youth Olympics

          After an entire week dedicated to Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics took over the  Youth Olympic Games podium these past two days. For the first time in the short history of this competition, Romania was represented in the Rhythmic events as well, by a young gymnast with a lot of potential. At the beginning of the year, Ana Luiza Filiorianu had placed among Europe’s top 7 gymnasts at the Moscow Grand Prix to secure a spot at these Olympics. She continued to perform well throughout the season, making the finals of all competitions she was in and medalling at some of them (gold at Valentine Cup, bronze in Pesaro). The YOG Rhythmic event for individual gymnasts would include qualifications and the All-around final. With no event finals to look forward to, the All-around would become the gymnasts’ only chance to win an Olympic medal. Moreover, only the top 8 gymnasts in qualification would move on to compete in this final.

Luiza started the qualifications well, with two good hoop and ball routines and placed fifth overall. Joining her in the final were the Russian favorite Irina Annenkova, USA’s Laura Zeng, Belarus’ Maryia Trubach, Moldavia’s Nicoleta Dulgheru, Uzbekistan’s Anora Davlyatova, Ukraine’s Valeriya Khanina and Israel’s Linoy Asham. Unfortunately, Luiza started off the final with a mistake on hoop, which pushed her into the fifth position after the first rotation. She did not allow this to impact her following routines, performing beautifully with ball and taking advantage of a breathtaking coreography here. Before the final rotation, she was still in fifth but her ribbon routine (she earned the top score here) helped her advance in the final standings to fourth place, missing out on the bronze medal by less than a point. Luiza ends Romania’s participation in the Gymnastics competitions at the Youth Olympic Games. Although no medals were won this time, Romania gained two gymnasts who have hopefully gathered enough experience to feel more confident in their future performances and in their own potential in international competitions.

Irina Annenkova of Russia is the new Youth Olympic champion, Truback and Zeng completing the podium.

This post is also available in: Romanian