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  30 October 2001 Source: 'Prosport'


This evening, the Romanian women's team will begin their competition to qualify for the team final. Trainers Mariana Bitang and Octavian Belu won't be able to count on Andreea Ulmeanu, who split her lower lip on Sunday during the training on vault. It seems that Carmen Ionescu can be added to the sick list. Yesterday during the training, she was suffering from a heavy back pain after a landing of beam. The technical staff of the Federation is trying to find a last minute solution for the recovery of Carmen Ionescu, asking help from the doctors from the German team. "I know the doctor of the German team a long time. I have spoken to him and we will both take Carmen to a detailed check up at a special clinic. I don't know if it's something to do with her spine," said Belu.

In this situation, the two trainers will only be able to rely for sure on Andreea Raducan, Sabina Cojocar and Silvia Stroescu as Loredana Boboc has had injections in her ankle. Belu explained: "The start is always decisive. We'll see how it goes. Surprisingly, I have noticed that the girls have concentrated much better during today's training. For instance, Ulmeanu, who's injured, hasn't complained at all, she can't eat food so she only drinks milk, which she has to drink through a straw. The others don't complain anymore either, the day before [a big event], like they say. May God help that everything will be ok!"
According to Nadia Comaneci, the women's competition is like a lottery. "The individual competition will be between Andreea Raducan and Svetlana Khorkina, although I have seen that the Russian was limping. I still think that in the team competition, the battle will be between Romania and Russia," after which she added: "And the Americans have come here with a good team too.


29 October 2001 Source: 'Prosport'

Loaded atmosphere

Ankle injury for Boboc
The qualifying competition for the Romanian team starts at 18.00 tomorrow. Only Andreea Raducan tried to smile as they leave the hotel. Raducan: "It will be difficult enough competing against the Russians." Asked if she has forgotten about what happened in Sydney, she jokes: "I'm older and now I know when I can take a Nurofen and when I can't."
About the gymnasts health, Octavian Belu said that at the moment, because of problems with her right ankle, at this moment Loredana Boboc won't be ok to compete. Belu: "I asked the doctor of the English team to give her injections. We don't know what will happen with her ankle. However, she has trained, but there's no way how things stand now, will she be able to compete.

Raducan and Boboc seperated
On almost every trip abroad, but also on trips in Romania, Loredana and Andreea have shared a room. Bitang and Belu have decided to seperate them this time. Loredana stays in a room with the nurse and Andreea shares a room with Monica Sabou. Sabina Cojocar shares a room with Andreea Ulmeanu, and Carmen Ionescu with Silvia Stroescu.

Ulmeanu injures herself
During yesterday's training, Andreea Ulmeanu injured herself when she was performing a vault. The gymnast hit her mouth on her knee which split her lower lip. She was taken to the doctor immediately and needed 8 stitches.

28 October 2001 Source: 'Prosport' and 'Ziua'

The Romanian team has been in Ghent since the beginning of this week because Octavian Belu and Mariana Bitang preferred to have more days than usual to adjust. About the spirit of Andreea Raducan and her teammates, Adrian Stoica said: "I haven't seen the girls train with such eagerness for a long time. They have got used to the apparatus here, which are identical to the ones in Deva."
Simona Amanar will be doing editorial work for the newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor and will give her opinion about the World Championships every day.

A 15 million dollar loan
The Ministry of Sports and Youth has obtained an external credit of 15 million dollars. The money was a loan from a Danish syndicate and will be paid back over 10 years. The money will help to finish the construction of the Sports hall in Craiova, for the reparations at the 'Nadia Comaneci' hall in Onesti and for the enhancement of certain things at the Sports complex in Poiana Brasov.


With a superb performance during podium training Friday evening in Ghent, defending champion Romania served notice that they should be the favorites to again win the women's team title.

The Romanian women's team nailed routine after routine in podium training, and looked confident and fit. As a team they had the most consistent performances with very difficult routines. Three Romanians (Andreea Raducan, Silvia Stroescu, Andreea Ulmeanu) tumbled double layouts on floor exercise, and three (Raducan, Sabina Cojocar, Carmen Ionescu) consistently stuck their full-twisting somersaults on balance beam.

Raducan looked fitter than she has in recent months, though the left knee she injured this past summer remains taped. She worked most aggressively on balance beam, sticking her acrobatics and double pike dismount

24 October 2001 Source: 'Prosport'

Andreea Raducan and her teammates on their way to Belgium

The green minibus with the Hunedoara number plate stops in front of the first door at the airport. The first to come out of the bus is Sabina Cojocar. She carries a sports bag on her shoulder and smiles as the cameras flash. After her, in turn, all the others do the same. The last one is Andreea Raducan. They are ready to go into the airport building, but they don't. THey wait a little. Suddenly, somebody starts to unload some huge suitcases out of the back of the car. The bags have the same size and 'compete' seriously with the height of the gymnasts. Octavian Belu helps each one of them and after that he says: "Everybody line up their luggage here. It will be easier for you. I'll put them on the control desk.

The trainer leaves Romania knowing that a couple of difficult days are ahead of him in Belgium, where the Romanian team will try to defend the World title that they won at the last 4 World Championships.

"We have dyed our hair! We are both brunettes. [Strange, I thought they already were brunettes] Maybe it will bring us some luck," say Loredana Boboc and Sabina Cojocar. "It's even Sabina's birthday today and she deserves to change something," explains Loredana. "But did you know that you're the only one who has congratulated me?, says Sabina to her. At the same time, Andreea Raducan is surrounded by reporters and their microphones: "We are going to Belgium to keep the tradition of Romanian gymnastics [high]. This time it will be more difficult than ever because of the new code of points. From my point of view, I'll do whatever I can so I won't disappoint the trainers and my supporters," said Andreea, who admitted after that "I've had a bad cold up until yesterday, but now it seems to have passed. My right knee is bothering me too but it's nothing to be afraid off." The girl from Bārlad is the last one of the girls to go through the control post and waves to the people at the airport as she would do at the end of a successful routine.

Octavian Belu is dressed in an elegant light-green suit and he wears a tie. At the same time he gestures and explains: "It's important that we arrive safely and that we can benefit from the following days to adjust. Then we hope that the judges will give us a nice suprise by appreciating our routines from which the majority has the maximum starting value, although I am convinced that it will be difficult to get a score of 9. There are also some new rules that are a disadvantage, like we don't have a warming up on the podium. I'm stuck with the idea that it will be an experimental World Championship," said Belu, who added, "Theoretically, looking at the record, we can afford to strive for first place but we have to take into account that we have a completely new team, with three juniors who need luck because of their slight chances and a leader imposed by a record, Andreea Raducan. It will be difficult and entirely different than before."

Andreea's father, Gheorghe Raducan: "I hope that at these World Championships, my daughter will demonstrate to the entire world that she was innocent in Sydney. May God give her the strength to become the World Champion."

Octavian Belu: "Andreea Raducan hasn't reached her optimal competition weight yet and that's not good. Something strange happened with her after Sydney. She hasn't grown, but she has put on weight. There was a time that she wanted to retire from gymnastics and start doing fitness. Anyhow, morally, she's ok now."

The only one who was missing at the airport was Mariana Bitang. She left for Germany a couple of days ago, to a clinic in Stuttgart, for some detailed medical analyses, benefited from the help of Ion Tiriac, the president of the Romanian Olympic Committee. Yesterday evening, Mariana Bitang was waiting to join the team in Ghent.

Supervised by Octavian Belu, the Romanian women's team worked the apparatus with their usual professionalism. Belu watched from the sidelines, his arms folded, he hardly needed to give advice or spot them. This is the team that, apart from Russia, is surely the top favourite for the competition.

The women's podium training begins Friday at 9:00 am. Romania, the defending team champions, have been one of the most consistent teams at the training gym this week.



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