The American Cup news just keeps on coming...
ProSport just announced that Ana Maria Tămîrjan will not be going to Chicago after all. The European bronze medalist on floor will be replaced by a junior who has only been in Deva for a few months, Amelia Racea. Racea was second on beam and third on floor at the 2008 Junior Europeans. She was also Romania's highest AA qualifier after the team competition, placing fourth, well behind Tatiana Nabiyeva, Aliya Mustafina and Youna Dufournet.
Amelia Racea (photo: Iris van den Broek/Gymnasticsphotography)
Head coach Nicolae Forminte had this to say about his decision to send a junior rather than the senior who sacrificed her Christmas break to prepare for the American Cup: "We have decided to spare Ana, who has returned to training after a long break. Ever since she resumed training, she has worked very hard with an eye to going to the American Cup. However, she is now suffering mild discomforts in her tibia and we don't want to take any risks, so we are giving her some rest. Racea will go to see what it's like to compete at a competition of this scope, and to get used to the atmosphere. She is a promising junior and we think she will do well."
We are mildly baffled by the fact that Forminte seems to think the American Cup is a bigger deal than the Junior Europeans, but we guess the competition does attract more spectators and media attention. So in that respect he's right - Racea will be in for something new. It will be interesting to see how she holds up against Jordyn Wieber, the other junior competing in Chicago,
As for Tămîrjan, we guess she should have enjoyed a nice Christmas break after all.
View Racea's performances at the 2008 Junior Europeans: beam and floor.