Voicu wins Category I at Romanian junior nationals
Posted November 2, 2008on:
Six of the seven juniors recently promoted to the Olympic team at Deva competed in the Romanian junior nationals held this weekend.
The biggest news is that Claudia Voicu, one of those recently promoted to the Olympic team, won the Category I (1994-1995 births) with a stellar 59.150 all-around score. This comes just weeks after Nicolae Forminte, Romanian head coach, bemoaned the fact that his juniors were scoring only in the mid-fifties. Voicu’s score is due largely to a great performance on beam — a 16.100 with a A-score of 6.5. Amelia Racea, my pick for top Romanian junior and last year’s Category II champion, took second to Voicu with a 57.300. Diana Trenca, last year’s Category II runner-up, took third. Of those on last year’s Category I podium, Ana Porgras (my second pick) and Loredana Sabau were both out with injuries (though both have also been promoted to the Olympic team), and Diana Chelaru (my third pick) took fourth.
So far there are not a ton of videos up from this meet (what exists belongs to monagym), but here is Voicu’s BB, which was by far the highest-scoring routine on any apparatus in the entire competition (for comparison, Racea’s BB was scored 14.500). Honestly, I thought the judges were a little lenient on this one — I think I could come up with more than .5 points in deductions. Voicu does a mount similar to Dominique Moceanu’s from the 1996 Olympics (which I always vaguely disliked) and a nice aerial to arabesque if you like that thing (not a huge fan). She’s mostly very confident — very Romanian — but is a little shaky on her leg-up full turn. Dismount is a double pike:
The Category II podium consists of top Category III gymnasts from 2007: Diana Bulimar, this year’s champion, was third to Madalina Neagu last year, who this year took second. Ana Maria Baicu, this year’s bronze medalist, was fifth at last year’s championships. The top two finished with scores of 56.925 and 56.625, respectively.
I absolutely love Bulimar’s FX, which has an A-score of 6.1 but was fairly heavily deducted in the AA for a finals core of 14.475. She scored better in EFs (14.700). Nicely landed Tsukahara, double twist, two-and-a-half to punch front, double pike. She shows good dance and nice expression, and I like the music choice — I think she’s well-positioned to become stellar on floor.
Bulimar’s score, however, was way outpaced by Neagu’s. Neagu started with a 6.3 A-score to finish with a 15.075 on FX.
Larisa Iordache, a beautiful but young gymnast considered to be one of Romania’s greatest hopes for (much) later in the upcoming quad, and the winner (over Neagu and Bulimar) in last year’s Category III championships, took second in this year’s Category III all-around, and was also the only Category III gymnast to perform a release skill on uneven bars. She placed second to the little-known Andreea Tufa, while Georgiana Gheorghe took third. These last two placed tenth and ninth, respectively, at last year’s Category III championships.
Tufa scored a 13.775 with this floor, which, well, needs serious choreography, music and expression upgrades:
Category I (1993-1994 births):
1. Claudia Voicu (59.150)
2. Amelia Racea (57.300)
3. Diana Trenca (56.525)
Category II (1994-1996 births):
1. Diana Bulimar (56.925)
2. Madalina Neagu (56.625)
3. Ana Maria Baicu (55.550)
Category III (1996-1998 births):
1. Andreea Tufa (55.650)
2. Larissa Iordache (55.575)
3. Georgiana Gheorghe (54.125)