After bouncing back straight away from an injury that took her down at the Novara Cup, Ana Maria Ocolisan of Romania injured her ankle on vault in the training hall this afternoon and will no longer be able to compete at World Championships.
Ocolisan will not be replaced in competition by alternate Andreea Munteanu, who has been uninspired in training this season since winning beam gold at European Championships and is unprepared to step in on any event. This leaves Romania in a precarious four-up four-count situation on at least two events, as Andreea Iridon is only doing bars and beam (though she has done floor this year, so it’s possible she will add a routine there, but not on vault).
Right now, it looks like the all-arounders will include Larisa Iordache, Diana Bulimar, Silvia Zarzu, and Laura Jurca in addition to Iridon’s two events. Scary, and while they looked pretty consistent in training, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure to hit on vault and floor. Every other team in qualifications has that cushion of dropping a score on every event, so it definitely puts Romania at a slight disadvantage.
They can still make it happen, as they looked mostly consistent in podium training. I’m not really worried about them on vault because even with four going up there, they manage three DTYs and an FTY, which is better than most fully-stocked teams can say. But floor did have some minor issues earlier this week, so it’s going to come down on each of them to be at their very best so even their lowest score is something that will boost them to a top eight finish.
Also, Iridon has been incredibly inconsistent this year, falling on five of her eight bar routines. She’s been a bit better on beam, but still has had falls or big mistakes in about half of her routines in 2015 and she looked very nervous in training earlier this week. Ocolisan has had consistency issues of her own, but has grown so much in the past year and looked great in training on Monday.
It’s definitely a huge blow losing all four of her events, and while the team isn’t totally out of the picture for team finals – they’re still in a much better position than last year, anyway – it’s going to be much more of a struggle for them to get that spot. Once they make it, the three-up three-count format should serve them well, but there’s definitely reason to worry that even minor mistakes in qualifications could mean a trip to the test event for the team that was once unstoppable.
Article by Lauren Hopkins