With a total of 18 medals, of which 5 gold, 8 silver and 5 bronze, Romania came out 4th in the final ranking of the Balkan Athletics Championships held early this week in Pravets, Bulgaria. Taking part in the competition were, apart from Balkan countries, the teams of Cyprus, Israel and Ukraine. In the overall rankings, Ukraine ranks 1st with 9 gold medals, 4 silver and 5 bronze, followed by Greece, with 6 gold, 6 silver and 2 bronze medals, and Turkey, with 6 gold, 3 silver and 7 bronze medals. In the men’s competition, Romania came in 2nd, outperformed by Ukraine but ahead of Turkey, while in the women’s version Romania was ranked 6th, after Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Ukraine.
The winners of Romania’s gold medals were Alexandru Firfirica in discus throw (with 63.67 m), Alexandru Mihaita Novac in javelin throw (77.90 m), the women’s 400 m relay team, made up of Camelia Florina Gal, Elena Mirela Lavric, Sanda Belgyan, and Andrea Miklos, Ilie Alexandru Corneschi in the 5,000 m race and Andrei Marius Gag in shot put (20.71 m).
Football player Cristian Sapunaru (35) Tuesday announced his withdrawal from the national team, for which he played in 36 matches and whose skipper he was in 11 matches, the Romanian Footbal Federation announced on its home page. In the resignation letter sent to the Federation, Cristian Sapunaru, who currently plays for the Turkish side Denizlispor, thanked all those who helped him and stood by him, and said he would like the national team to qualify for the EURO 2020 final tournament. “Thank you for everything, skipper!” was the reply of the Federation, which added, “The Romanian Football Federation and the national team thank you for your commitment, leadership and for being a role model for all players!”
During his career, Cristian Ionut Sapunaru played for Progresul Bucharest, FC Rapid, FC Porto, Real Zaragoza, Elche, Pandurii Targu Jiu, Astra Giurgiu, Kayserispor and Denizlispor. He first played for the national team during Victor Piturca’s term as a coach, on May 31, 2008, in a friendly match against Montenegro, which the Romanian national team won 4-nil. He played all 3 matches of the national team in the EURO 2016, against France, Switzerland and Albania. The last time he played for the national football team was on June 10, 2019, against Malta, in the EURO 2020 qualifiers.
Victor Piturca (62) was officially presented as manager of the Universitatea Craiova football club. He said in a press conference that his main goals are to win the championship and play in the Champions League group stage.
(translated by: Ana-Maria Popescu)