Larisa Iordache fell off the beam during training and broke a finger. She now needs surgery and it was reported by TVR that the doctors have recommended six weeks of rest. Although this is not an injury that sounds serious or career-ending, it is a tough conclusion for the Romanian team. Romania finished 13th in qualifications at the 2015 Glasgow Worlds and missed on direct qualification to the Olympics. Last chance for the team to qualify will be mid-April when they will compete with Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Brazil, South Korea and Switzerland for the last 4 team spots. Romania still has other talented gymnasts and with enough technical potential to form a team of five that would put on a good fight: Catalina Ponor, Diana Bulimar, Laura Jurca, Andreea Iridon, Anamaria Ocolisan, Silvia Zarzu, Maria Holbura etc. But this will be a very difficult task, especially from an emotional perspective, with their double world all around medalist missing. Iordache is also the only Worlds medalist from Romania since 2012, with two all around medals (silver 2014 and bronze 2015) and two floor medals (silver 2014 and bronze 2013). Larisa herself does not have a guaranteed spot at Rio either, so the team missing on qualification might also mean the end of Iordache’s 2016 Olympic dream. However, Larisa would have a strong case to get a wild card for Rio as a medalist in the all-around in Glasgow. There, all medalists in the apparatus finals obtained direct qualification. But the rules do not extend to the medalists from the all around final, a notable oversight from the FIG.
Article: Bea Gheorghisor
Photo Cover: Nadia Boyce