This week's big news from Romania would have to be Nicolae Forminte's indignation at the news that marathon runner Constantina Diţă-Tomescu rather than Sandra Izbaşa was named Romanian Sportswoman of the Year 2008 at the Romanian Sports Gala on January 31. "If we had known Sandra wasn't going to win, we wouldn't have come," an angry Forminte reportedly told Gazeta Sporturilor, adding that he felt the award should have gone to the athlete who had won most medals in 2008. On top of her Olympic title, Izbaşa won two European golds (team and floor) in 2008, whereas Diţă-Tomescu "only" won an Olympic gold medal. Izbaşa herself has not publicly commented on the row.
Sandra Izbaşa in Beijing (photo: Reuters)
Meanwhile, ProSport posted a videotaped interview with Forminte in which the head coach said he hoped Sandra Izbaşa, Anamaria Tămîrjan and Gabriela Drăgoi would be healthy enough to represent Romania at the European Championships, to be held in Milan, April 2-5. He also identified newcomer Diana Chelaru as a possible fourth representative at the Europeans.
Newcomer Diana Chelaru, slated to compete at the Europeans
(Photo taken from the website of the Blanc-Mesnil tournament)
Forminte also said in the ProSport interview that rising star Ana Porgras was recovering well from the knee surgery she recently underwent in Italy; she will miss the Europeans but is expected to recover in time for the World Championships. However, Forminte is concerned about the slow recoveries of Cerasela Pătraşcu, Andreea Acatrinei and Gabriela Drăgoi, saying that some of the gymnasts struggling with injuries are contemplating retirement.
In men's news, Gazeta Sporturilor reports that Romania will probably be represented in Milan by Flavius Koczi, Răzvan Şelariu and Marius Berbecar.
Meanwhile, judging from this ProSport interview with head coach Nicuşor Pascu, Adrian Bucur (not Flavius Koczi, as reported earlier) will represent Romania at the American Cup.
Finally, former star Steliana Nistor and new men's coach Nicuşor Pascu have recently given interviews which we hope to translate for you soon.