The most interesting routines of the 2016 Romanian Nationals

Ioana Crișan, Larisa Iordache and Carmen Glăvan made up the All-around podium.

Ioana Crișan, Larisa Iordache and Carmen Glăvan made up the All-around podium.

Cluj hosted the Artistic Gymnastics Romanian Nationals last weekend, in the very same arena that will host next year‘s European Championship. Apart from the national titles, the last two spots for the Rio Olympics (one for the ladies and another for the men) were also at stake here. Going into this competition, Cătălina Ponor struggled with a stomach virus and had to be hospitalized right before the event. She could not find the necessary strength to compete three events on the first day, missing out on beam right at the end. This motivated her to come back strong in Day 2 and win both finals she competed in with two great performances. She shared the medals, as well as the public’s applause, with Larisa Iordache, who was making her comeback at the event after her well known health issues. She competed well on the first day, taking home yet another All-around national title. She added another gold medal on uneven bars the next day and a silver on beam. She was particularly impressive on bars, considering she has had two surgeries on her hand and could not train up to a couple of weeks ago. Her talent carried her throughout the competition even when the physical strength was not there. She gave up competing on floor in the second day after showing signs of pain on her bars dismount.

Today, the Romanian Federation announced Catălina as the flag bearer for the Romanian delegation and confirmed her presence in Rio. Larisa Iordache is also to be present given the fact that neither gymnast is 100% ready at this time and health is a key factor in gymnastics today. The one who will be in better shape in August will most likely have the honour of representing her country in the competition. Until then, let’s check out their best routines from this national championship.

The seniors and juniors shared the competition last weekend since Romania does not have the number of seniors needed to compete in such an event. The juniors thus benefited of this opportunity to compete alongsite gymnasts such as Cătălina, Larisa or Marian, in an arena that finally meets the european standards and which will host the Euros next year. Here’s a selection of the most interesting routines from the women’s competition.

With Marian Drăgulescu already qualified and in full preparation for the Games, the second spot on the men’s side was also at stake here. After winning the All-around, Andrei Muntean has placed himself at the forefront of the battle for Rio.

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