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The 2022 Sports year, in retrospect (I)

A lookback at the main sports events in 2022, part one

SPORTS FLASH
SPORTS FLASH

, 27.12.2022, 13:45

The post-pandemic
comeback was the buzzword for sports, in 2022. Most of the competitions resumed their usual format, with increasingly fewer restrictions. Sports hierarchies
returned to normal. Fans have returned to stadiums. For most of the countries, the
pandemic eventually became a distant memory.


We recall that in the year’s first major
tennis competition, the Australian Open, one of the top-seeded players, the
Serb Novak Djokovic, was banned from participating in the competition because of
his refusal to take the anti-Covid vaccine. Djokovic was kept in custody and deported
from Australia afterwards. In Melbourne, the Romanian tennis had an all-female participation. The players were Simona Halep, Sorana Cîrstea, Irina Begu,
Jaqueline Cristian and Gabriela Ruse with Halep and Cirstea being best-placed
in the competition, In the round of 16, Halep was defeated by French challenger
Alizé Cornet in three sets, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, while Sorana Cîrstea was defeated by
Poland’s Iga Świątek, also in three sets, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.


In January 2022, a new head-coach was appointed
at the helm of the national football team. Edward Iordănescu replaced Mirel
Rădoi. In November 2021, Radoi announced he would no longer be at the helm of
the national squad, having failed to qualify to the playoffs for the 2022 of the
World Cup.


In early February, Romania’s national rugby
team in Bucharest, in the first fixture counting towards the Rugby Europe
Championship, defeated Russia, 34-25. Then Romania defeated Portugal, 37-27. In
late February, Romania was defeated by Spain, 21-38. In tennis, Irina Begu
reached as far as the semifinals of the WTA 500 tournament in Sankt Petersburg.
In water polo, Romania qualified to the European Championships in Croatia, in
the men’s as well as in the women’s competition. In the Winter Olympic games in
Beijing, the Romanian delegation’s best position was secured by the sled relay crew
made of Raluca Strămăturaru, Valentin Creţu and the pair made of Marian Gîtlan
and Darius Şerban. In late February, Romanian table tennis player Bernadette
Szőcs came in 3rd in the Europa Top-16 tournament in Montreux,
Switzerland.


In early March, fixtures kick-started, counting towards
the Romanian Football League’s Group 1, with CFR Cluj moving 7 points clear of the runner-up team, FCSB. In tennis, in Marbella, Romania’s men’s team sustained
a 1-3 defeat by Spain, in a confrontation counting towards the qualifying playoffs
ahead of the Davis Cup final tournament. Marius Copil and Horia Tecău provided
the only point for the Romanian delegation, defeating Alejandro Davidovich
Fokina and Pedro Martinez 7-6, 6-4. Also in tennis, Simona Halep regained her
position among the world’s top 20 tennis players. Previously, Halep reached as
far as the semifinals of the 1, 000 Indian Wells tournament. In rugby, the Romanian national team came in 3rd
as part of the Rugby Europe Championship 2022. Georgia was at the top of the
table, followed by Spain, the same as in the last two year’s combined rankings
that secured the qualification to the World Cup 2023. However, Spain was subsequently
disqualified, having used an ineligible player, while Romania,, which was
supposed to go through the repechage, will go straight to the World Cup.


In April, in the World Wrestling Championships
in Budapest, the Romanian athletes walked away with four medals. In the
55-kilogram category, Andreea Ana won gold, while Alina Vuc and Kriszta Incze won
bronze in the 50 and the 65-kilogram category, respectively. In the men’s version
of the competition, in the 87-kilogram category, Nicu Ojog won silver in the Greco-Roman
style. The Romanian ice-hockey team Sport Club Miercurea Ciuc won the Erste
Liga regional competition Erste Liga for the second consecutive year. In the
Billie Jean King Cup’s women’s team qualifiers, in Radom, Poland defeated Romania,
4-nil. Also in April, the Romanian women’s national handball team qualified to
the European championship, jointly hosted by Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro.


In May 2022, the Romanian delegation competing
in the European Judo Championship was unable to bring a medal back home. The delegation’s
best result was provided by Adrian Sulca, who came in 5th in the 73-kilogram
category. In women’s handball, in a tie counting towards the Champions League’s
quarterfinals, CSM Bucharest was eliminated by Denmark’s Team Esbjerg. In
football, for the fifth consecutive edition and for the eighth time in the club’s
history, CFR from Cluj won the Romanian domestic championship title. In the World’s
Women’s Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Lacramioara Perijoc won silver, in
the 54-kilogram category. In the European Championships held in Armenia’s
Yerevan, in the 86-kilogram category Andrei Paul Arădoaie walked home with the silver medal. It was the first European-level medal for
Romanian boxing since 2015.


In June 2022, the 18-year-old Romanian
swimmer David Popovici grabbed everyone’s attention. As an absolute first for Romanian
swimming, Popovici won two world titles in Budapest, in the 100m and 200m freestyle
events. (EN)



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