Larisa Iordache Dominates in Romania

larisa

With no competition at her level, Larisa Iordache easily won the Romanian national championship title by about four points over silver medalist Stefania Stanila with a 59.65.

In the all-around competition held on Saturday August 30, Iordache had a steady day, beginning with a clean DTY for a 14.975.

Bars, Iordache’s weakest event, were actually impressive, though not because she’s suddenly a master with form. No, she attempted a stalder full on the low bar at the start of her routine but arched over in the handstand. Instead of coming off, she threw her legs into a double stag and used her core to pull herself back over. It actually looked really pretty, and I expect “the Iordache” to become a skill in the code of points this year.

That aside, she did have clean leg work for the most part. Her Jaeger was a bit low, but she hit a nice Church to pak salto, and landed her full-in with a hop.

Her beam was a bit of a mess but I forgive it because she is working with a 7.1 difficulty. Hopefully she can get it under control before Worlds?! She hit an awesome bhs to tuck full to start. Her leg came up (into a perfect 180 split, actually!) when she landed her roundoff to layout full and she had to put her hands down to stop from falling, but it could have been worse. The double turn had a wobble, but she hit her bhs layout, switch to switch half to split jump, there was a pause between her front aerial and side somi (which I’m assuming she wants to connect), and she had a nicely rotated triple full with just a hop. I would love for this to be the gold medal routine at Worlds! I just hope she can hit it cleanly.

She opened her floor routine with a pretty openly tucked double double…is she perhaps working it in a layout? Her full-in was great, and then she hit a QUADRUPLE turn, stepping out of it a bit messily but she put up a great effort. Her third pass was either a nicely rotated triple full or a cheated 3.5…it’s hard to tell if she was trying to jump around that last half twist or if her choreography is to turn and face the corner! Though in event finals she landed a clean triple and didn’t turn to the corner, so my guess is that she was hoping to get a 3.5. She finished with a nice piked full-in.

In addition to Iordache’s all-around win, she also took home gold on vault, bars, and floor as well as a silver on beam. She vaulted a Tsuk full in addition to her DTY, both of which looked decent from what I could see, and her bars had some form errors but nothing as major as we saw in the all-around performance.

On beam, she fell on her roundoff layout full but looked fantastic otherwise. She changed the switch to switch half to split jump connection to two separate series – a switch to switch half followed by a split jump to wolf jump, all hit wonderfully. She also purposely didn’t connect her aerial to side somi. In the floor final, her double double landing wasn’t great and she stumbled out of her quad turn, but the rest was great. She could definitely get a World medal here in addition to beam.

Who else looked good? Stanila was the silver all-around medalist, but doesn’t really have any standout events. She could definitely fill the dependable “I’ll go up whenever, wherever” role they so desperately need. She did earn bronze medals on vault and floor; though her routines there aren’t impressive and likely wouldn’t make a Worlds final if performed as they were here, they’re definitely steady sets.

The bronze all-around medalist was Andreea Iridon, who is like the bars and beam version of Stanila (she earned silver and bronze on these two events, respectively). Her bars aren’t incredibly difficult, but no one else aside from Iordache can hit a set as clean as hers – for a Romanian, they’re pretty excellent!

Unfortunately, she is only 14 years old and won’t be a senior until next year so we’ll have to wait to see those lovely bars in a team final until Glasgow.

Andreea Munteanu competed only on beam and floor, but both efforts were very strong – especially beam, where she won the gold medal during event finals with a huge 15.325. Her routine isn’t quite as difficult as Iordache’s, but she’s remarkably clean and has a great bhs to tuck full. She could definitely make finals at Worlds on this event, where she and Iordache can have a battle of super clean vs. super difficult!

Outside of this core group, Ana Maria Ocolisan, Paula Tudorache, and Silvia Zarzu seem most promising in terms of senior competitors. Ocolisan won bronze on vault and bars in addition to placing 5th in the all-around, while Tudorache was 4th in the all-around as well as on bars and beam. Both could be strong utility players, while Zarzu has a competitive vault and floor.

It’s rumored that Iordache will lead a World Championships team consisting of Stanila, Munteanu, Ocolisan, Tudorache, and Zarzu. While the Romanian Gymnastics Federation has not yet made this news official…really, who else would they bring?!

In addition to the Romanians, guests from Sweden and Israel also competed. Their results didn’t factor into the national standings, but if they had, Sweden’s Jonna Adlerteg and Kim Singmuang would have placed 4th and 5th.

All-Around Results
1. Larisa Iordache, Dinamo, 59.650
2. Stefania Stanila, CNS Cetate Deva, 55.800
3. Andreea Iridon, CNS Cetate Deva, 55.100
4. Paula Tudorache, Dinamo, 54.025
5. Ana Maria Ocolisan, CNS Cetate Deva, 53.775
6. Andra Stoica, Dinamo, 53.500
7. Emanuela Parva, CNS Cetate Deva, 52.875
8. Andreea Ciurusniuc, Steaua, 51.550
9. Stefania Orzu, CSM Onesti, 49.225
10. Silvia Zarzu, CSM Onesti, 47.750
11. Anda Butuc, Dinamo, 41.000
12. Asiana Peng, CNS Cetate Deva, 40.320
13. Teea Milea, CS Farul C-ta, 39.250
14. Laura Nacu, CSS Galati, 35.175
15. Diana Damian, CSS Focsani, 33.900
16. Andreea Munteanu, CNS Cetate Deva, 29.200

Guest All-Around
1. Jonna Adlerteg, Sweden, 54.525
2. Kim Singmuang, Sweden, 54.175
3. Tzuf Feldon, Israel, 48.950
4. Lovisa Estberg, Sweden, 38.575

Vault Final
1. Larisa Iordache, Dinamo, 14.425
2. Andreea Ciurusniuc, Steaua, 13.450
3. Ana Maria Ocolisan, CNS Cetate Deva, 13.312
Stefania Stanila, CNS Cetate Deva, 13.312
— Stefania Orzu, CSM Onesti, 13.312
6. Silvia Zarzu, CSM Onesti, 13.062
7. Laura Nacu, CSS Galati, 11.487

Uneven Bars Final
1. Larisa Iordache, Dinamo, 14.750
2. Andreea Iridon, CNS Cetate Deva, 14.125
3. Ana Maria Ocolisan, CNS Cetate Deva, 13.275
4. Paula Tudorache, Dinamo, 12.875
5. Emanuela Parva, Steaua, 12.850
6. Andreea Ciurusniuc, Steaua, 12.675
7. Asiana Peng, CNS Cetate Deva, 12.575
8. Anda Butuc, Dinamo, 12.375

Balance Beam Final
1. Andreea Munteanu, CNS Cetate Deva, 15.325
2. Larisa Iordache, Dinamo, 14.900
3. Andreea Iridon, CNS Cetate Deva, 14.400
4. Paula Tudorache, Dinamo, 14.250
5. Asiana Peng, CNS Cetate Deva, 13.500
6. Andra Stoica, Dinamo, 13.325
7. Teea Milea, Farul, 13.175
8. Stefania Stanila, CNS Cetate Deva, 13.125

Floor Exercise Final
1. Larisa Iordache, Dinamo, 15.500
2. Andreea Munteanu, CNS Cetate Deva, 14.225
3. Stefania Stanila, CNS Cetate Deva, 14.150
4. Silvia Zarzu, CSM Onesti, 14.100
5. Andreea Iridon, CNS Cetate Deva, 14.000
6. Paula Tudorache, Dinamo, 13.650

Article by Lauren Hopkins
Photo thanks to the Romanian Gymnastics Federation

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