The Romanian women's gymnastics team won their second Olympic gold medal yesterday, after the one they won in 1984. This is the first gold medal for Romania's team in a fully attended games.
The Romanian gymnasts spent the last two rotations during yesterday's team finals sitting quietly on the bench, waiting to see what will happen. Competition was over for them, they already knew their team total. Everything would depend on Russia & China's performance is the last two rotations. Head coach Octavian Belu disappeared. "I was in front of the computer, making calculation. I was trying to see how far ahead of the other teams we were. The TV screen was close by, also, because other wise I couldn't see vault, which is the event the Chinese were on", he confessed at the end of the competition, after he found out his team won, and he was able to wipe away the worried expression from his face.
Our gymnasts scored 154.608 points. Russia was going up on floor in the last rotation, and China was going to compete on vault. Basically, only the Chinese team could beat us, but they didn't want to risk anything and did a couple of easy vaults, going as far as to only compete 4 gymnasts on the event. At the same time, The Russian gymnasts received some very high scores over on floor. Even then, Svetlana Khorkina, the last gymnast up on floor, needed to score close to a 10.09 to move her team past the Romanians. Almost sensing the unavoidable, that Russia will lose their second straight Olympic title, Khorkina cried before going up on floor.
What happened before? The two teams who would finish 5th and 6th, Spain & the Ukraine, were up first. Our gymnast started off on bars, the vent that caused them a lot of problems in the past few years. This was probably all for the better, because they got over a big hurdle right from the start. Andreea Isărescu was the top scorer, with a 9.687. On beam the Romanians' performance was nothing short of amazing, Andreea raducan capping the team's effort with a huge 9.837, the highest score to be awarded during team finals. Floor turned out to be another strong point for our team, with Loredana Boboc, Andreea Răducan & Simona Amânar all scoring a 9.7 or better. Vault marked a self-assured closing effort, with Răducan excelling again --9.712 average.
The fear that started trickling in, with the hit routines of the Chinese & Russians and their high scores in the first two rotations disappeared once Khorkina fell on bars --Spasiva Svetlana!! (This is not my comment, but the original author's!!). Alone in the competition, our opponents made mistake after mistake, probably feeling the pressure, and the possiblity of winning turned out to be too much (for them to handle). The Romanian gymnast waited patiently for the end of the competition. When they realized they won, they let their emotions run free, jumping up and down and hugging each other. "maybe it was our turn to win", said Belu. "I tried my best, alongside the other girls, knowing this will be my last big competition", said Simona, one of the team's veterans. "I wanted to be part of a gold medal team." A team that won't look the same next year, but who won over everyone in Sydney -and the rest of the world- today.