Sunday, 9 June 2013

Blendea returns; Munteanu triumphant

The junior friendly between Romania and France concluded today. Quite the domination- Romania won the team competition, gold and bronze in the all-around and the vast majority of event finals medals. Andreea Munteanu of the glorious leaps added 5 gold medals to her already full cabinet- Team, AA, vault, floor and beam. This enormous ball of talent unleashed two brand new upgrades; a DTY and a triple full beam dismount. She also added a turn combination, though it is currently worthless she's obviously paving the way for something more valuable there. Sadly she fell off bars on the first day and had a very costly error the next, but her huge strides forward on every other apparatus will hopefully allow her to focus on bars and get them more consistent and worthy of such a solid all-arounder.

Madalina Blendea returned to competition for the first time in a year. Her difficulty level was cautious, though it paid off as she hit all 4 events while her teammates splatted all around her. The low difficulty also explains how she only managed fourth in the AA despite falls from the medal winners. Nevertheless, this was a strong competition from her, with beam and floor in particular a delight to watch. Her lines on bars are still beautiful, and her swing on transitions has improved. Her leaps need some work but what a great return for her!

Andreea Iridon suffered falls from bars and beam but redeemed herself on her best event in event finals- claiming gold on bars- facing strong opposition from Madalina Blendea and French bars wunderkind Louise Vanhille. Her beam has beautiful composition, really lovely to watch. Her leaps are superb on floor, like Andreea Munteanu she should be able to pull off the harder turning leaps like the Gogean (who judged at this meet!) with no question of doubt. Unfortunately, she has a lot of troubles with vault and only did a layout yurchenko (piked a bit!) at this meet. Normally she does a very scary FTY. Unless a miracle happens, she cannot really be any kind of top all-arounder sadly. But a fabulous gymnast with lovely original work especially on beam.

Poor Diana Teodoru suffered a fall on floor and three off beam- and began crying during her routine. She did manage to stay on bars and there is a good bit of potential in her work. Would love to see her mentally as well as physically improve..and change her floor routine. I'm all for the use of traditional music for gymnasts but this music is just too fast and frantic to benefit her. Silvia Zarzu and Laura Jurca had quite a mixed meet. Silvia has not competed in a while and counted a fall though looks like floor will be her major selling point. This is not enough in itself especially in Romania so if she bucked up on vault that would help her chances tremendously.

Thank you to Maryline for travelling to capture these videos! Particularly the very elusive Madalina Blendea. Videos after the jump..

Promising! Yes she fell but these are pretty good.
Perfection! This is the whole package. The dismount is new, she'll get it.
This is messy especially off the table, but so secure and high.
I think there's more potential here than in Iridon's. Better form.
That mount! She could probably do it sharper if she was straighter onto the beam.
Maelys is senior and competed just for the heck of it. Love her lines..and the running double front! The rest of her tumbles need basically nothing before them, awesome.


  1. Ooh very nice! I read that some of the coaches training the younger girls had been emphasising bars a lot so that the girls would be useful to the national team at senior level and it's really paying off. Grips and more sensible composition of routines is probably helping as well. They've got pretty good form and a decent amount of swing though some of the releases look a bit flat. Wish Munteanu didn't flex her feet every single time she does a kip, though she does point them in handstands. Munteanu's beam is glorious, with the usual Romanian attack but more polish, her leaps are beautiful and her acro elements all very flighty. For a first DTY in competition she did very well. Pity about Iridon's vault but even as a UB/BB specialist she should do very well. Ahh the future of Romania is looking pretty good for now!

    I really like Maelys Plessis's floor. The double front is great, it's nice to see some different tumbling runs after awhile, and refreshingly mature music which suits her power very well. She does look very sharp and fit too.

    1. Yes and there are some younger juniors showing promise too! It is the jump to the senior team that is the problem- they run the risk of stagnating bars routines BUT solid basics are definitely a big bonus, so that and the form should help them achieve decent scores.

      It's just a shame about Iridon's vault, she should by rights be an amazing all-arounder. The layout yurchenko was quite piked even.

      I'm always blown away by just one RO/BHS before a skill. Her tumbling is so neat too. Her choreo is a little pose...and dramatic pose..etc. for me, it needs to flow better. But lovely!

  2. SO excited to see Blendea back! I'm so glad she is taking it slowly though I hope she´ll be ready for the EYOF... And you're right, her bars do have potential: really lovely lines and there is a certain nice flow to them.

    Munteanu keeps impressing me every time I see her compete. That beam is fierce and I am so amazed that she keeps upgrading. She is one to look out for. WHen does she turn senior?

    1. Munteanu turns senior next year, along with Teodoru and Tudorache. Jurca, Blendea and Iridon are all 2015 so all elegible for YOG. Blendea herself is the best all-arounder of the 2015 girls, I'd love to see more steady improvement from her- she's just great! Munteanu is beyond impressive- she's known as being extremely talented and quick, rather than someone who has to slave and slave to get a skill- which is interesting!

  3. Do you know any details about EYOF (teams,etc)? There is imense junior talent in Europe right now!

    The Romanian girls have made great improvements on bars. I hope Iridon's vault will improve miraculously like Bulimar's did.

    1. You've just reminded me that I don't really! I know there's TF, AA and EF and girls elegible are 1998 and 1999. This includes insane talent of course- Eythora Thorsdottir, Viktoria Kuzmina, Anastasia Dmitrieva, Maria Bondareva, Maria Kharenkova (if she's healthy), Seda Tutkhalyan, Andreea Munteanu, Andreea Iridon, Madalina Blendea, Laura Jurca, Paula Tudorache, Silvia Zarzu, Enus Mariani (if she is healthy..back issues), Tea Ugrin,Kim Janas, Tyesha Matthis, Ellie Downie and Amy Tinkler.

      No idea how big the teams will be.