Romanian gymnasts win several medals at the European Gymnastics Championships held in Cluj Napoca, western Romania.
Gymnasts from Romania obtained 4 medals at the
European Gymnastics Championships that took place in the Transylvanian city of
Cluj Napoca over April 19th and 23rd. They were
outperformed only by Russia, while Ukraine finished third in the rankings. This
competition, the second to be hosted by Romania after 60 years, brought
together 274 gymnasts from 37 countries, as well as 450 coaches, medical staff,
referees and other officials.
Two gold medals were won for Romania by veteran
gymnast Marian Dragulescu in the floor contest and Catalina Ponor in the beam
event. Marian also became silver medallist in the vault event, while Larisa
Iordache stepped onto the third step of the podium in the beam competition.
Shortly after his win Dragulescu said he was proud of becoming the Romanian
gymnast with the largest number of medals of all time, with 31 medals.
At almost 37 years of age, Dragulescu admitted
the medal in the floor event was the most sought after in his career because he
won it right in front of a Romanian public. We recall that Marian Dragulescu
has won three Olympic medals (one silver and two bronze), ten medals in World
Championships (eight gold and two silver) and 18 in European Championships (ten
gold, six silver and two bronze). This remarkable gymnast only lacks the
At the age of 29, Catalina Ponor won the
European title for the fifth time in the beam contest, breaking her own record
of four continental wins. She has again obtained international acclaim in the
beam competition, thirteen years from her first victory in Amsterdam. She had
also qualified for the floor contest in Cluj but failed to make it to the
competition's next stage as her show lacked a compulsory element.
Injuries forced 20-year-old Larisa Iordache to
compete only in two apparatuses and it was also medical issues that had kept her
off competitions in the past years. She failed to attend two editions of the
European championships in 2015 and 2016 as well as the Olympics in Rio in 2016,
where Romania's gymnastics team failed to qualify for the first time since the
1968 edition in Mexico. Larisa's latest performance was at the European
Championships in 2014 where she won three medals: gold in the floor event,
silver in the beam and bronze in the vault contest.
We recall that at the last year's edition of the
European Gymnastics Championships hosted by the Swiss city of Bern, Marian
Dragulescu won two silver medals for Romania in the floor and vault events,
while Catalina Ponor became bronze medallist in the floor and beam contests.