The Return of Catalina Ponor

Full Results from Full Twist
Videos by Anne-Sophie Henri

It’s completely insane that after 3 years off she comes back and easily takes over as the second best gymnast in the Country.

Sorry I have been missing action but work and life have gotten in the way.

Larisa Iordache won the AA with a 58.150 with a fall off bars


Where is my girl Andrea Iridon ?????

This was pretty impressive for a Romanian. Not sure what he start value was but Romania will be desperate for bars workers if they are bringing back Ponor and Izbaza so anyone that can stay on with decent form has a huge shot at making this team.

Anamaria Ocolisan on bars


29 Responses to “The Return of Catalina Ponor”

  1. tulip Says:

    The Roms are desperate. And we can expect Ponor and Sandra to both be gifted with event finals and medals, earned or not. Kind of like Ponor’s 2012 beam finals even though he nearly fell off during qualifying.

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Thank God for tie breakers:) She totally balked her full in during prelims and still made finals.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        I agree about the 2012 stuff – Ponor shouldn’t have made finals. But I LOVE her and I’m glad she’s back. Wow, she’s like 28 right? ASac take note!

  2. Rocío Martínez López Says:

    Catalina looks good for having been years inactive. But they need bar workers. What I don’t understand is why they don’t seek help with bars if Romania had been having problems with them for as long as I can remember, I was watching yesterday on YouTube the 2000 Olympics’ team final and they already had problems with UB. 15 years ago! If they know they have that problem, why don’t they seek help? A Russian coach for UB, for example.

    • H Says:

      I don’t understand why usa national trainers/personal coaches have not fix some gymnasts block on vault, form (read bent legs) on bhh beam, choreographies on floor – Usa has the means (don’t they?)

      • Rocío Martínez López Says:

        But those are little things that doesn’t have a great impact in the final score (they say, for example that they had deductions for abscense of “artistry” on floor and I have never seen the judges deduce something from that even with the most horrible coreographies). The problems that the Romanians had in the bars are much more serious in my opinion. Most of them have bars with a 5.6-5.8 difficulty while the Russian and the Chinese, for example, have a difficulty that moves around the 6.5-7.00 each. With their problems in execution, this means that their direct competition has an advantage of more than a full point even before they start in the individual competition and more than three in the team competition. It is a huge advantage they give to the other teams that they can’t regain in the other three rotations. The deductions that EE.UU. got from the things you mention can be compensated with the great difficulty their gymnasts present, but the Romanian can’t really go for the gold with several set of bars so weak that they are giving points to their competitors even before their gymnasts begin their exercises.

      • H Says:

        I agree with you regarding bar coach for Romania.
        Can the reason be money? Or is it a general “symptom” that gyms or national teams don’t really recognize where they are at – meaning willing enough to let in “strangers” to fix their problems?

      • Rocío Martínez López Says:

        I don’t have a clue…money could be the reason, but Romania is still one of the biggest countries in the sport. I don’t know if they don’t want strangers coaching the team, Maybe a retired gymnast could be an option. Romania had never been brilliant in uneven bars, but they have had gymnasts who could throw a decent set, like Stelliana Nistor or Nicoleta Sofronie.They weren’t Aliya or Komova, but they were better than most and I have heard that they went into coaching after their retirement. I think something along those lines would be a good option.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Romania just needs decent bar workers, period. Kind of like what the US has – can throw solid sets but aren’t necessarily medal-contenders (like the Russians and the Chinese). Romania’s bread and butter was always balance beam and floor (to most extent). Now it’s like the apparatus that has the highest potential for points is both vault and UB, so really if your UB is super weak like it is in Romania you’re basically hoping another team has 1 or 2 falls and that your team is perfect in order to get gold or even silver.

      • Rocío Martínez López Says:

        That was kind of my point, sanity.They don’t need medals in the UB event final (although they would be welcome, of course) but having two of three routines in the team final with start values of 5.6 or less is giving the competition a lot of advantage. Years before, they could regain some momentum in floor or beam, like you say, but now EE.UU, Russia and China can present rutines in those events similar or, in floor’s case, higher than theirs. It’s fine if they get most of their individual medals in beam and floor like always (except Izbasa, I don’t see them very competitive in vault either) but they need to remain in silver or even in bronze position, because China, Russia and EE.UU. constantly leaves them in fourth place when they don’t have gravious mistakes.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        Yeah – I was agreeing with you. Not sure why they don’t focus on that aspect since it’s been a problem for so long, but maybe it’s an ego thing. The code nowadays doesn’t reward floor/beam enough to make up for lack in UB and now especially vault.

    • Rocío Martínez López Says:

      You are right, sanity, and I don’t know why they don’t address the issue…Is their success what it is in line here. What’s for sure is that if one day there is one big competition here in Madrid, I am going to see it with a big banner that says something like “Upgrade the damn difficulty in UB, Romania!”. I am sure that Belu & Bitang (because they say they leave the sport, but they are inmortals, like Martha) makes the organizator throw me out or something.

      • sanitynmotion Says:

        LOL – yeah, Romania either needs to upgrade their UB or have three amanar vaulters. I think the easier choice here is the UB upgrades.

      • Rocío Martínez López Says:

        They would need to upgrade bars anyway…EE.UU. have several girls that can do Amanars. Simone throws a huge one and Aly could do it too, even if she have form problems…I don’t know about Maggie Nichols, I couldn’t catch the US Classics from Spain, but EE.UU. usually have good vaulters, so I would be surprised if in the team final one of the American girls chooses a vault with an start value less than a 6.00. Russia I am not so sure. Komova used to have an Amanar in London, but I don’t know if she is still using it after all this time. Paseka can throw one (sorta), Afan can also…I am not so sure about Seda…But I think that if the Romanians upgrade vault they could approach China. Not Russia or the USA but China doesn’t have strong vaulters. It would be an improvement.

    • H Says:

      Ponor are training ub (maybe for fun or …) – didn’t know she actually did bars. Last youtube “time” was in 2004

      • JK Says:

        Whoa, did Catalina do an Ono – the one-armed pirouette the Chinese always do? I’m impressed – even though she did miss quite a few handstands. It was a pretty good bars set though… for a Romanian, lol. 🙂

  3. Gymbot Says:

    I think anamaria has a 5.6 start on bars. Bulimar’s bars would score similarly once she has enough repetitions. It’s looking to be their strongest bars line up in some time, probably since they lost porgras and the 2008 Olympians

  4. neutrophil4 Says:

    Apparently Iridon pulled a muscle and had to take a break from training. I don’t think it’s serious, but I really hope it doesn’t affect her chance for a worlds spot 😦

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      Thanks. She needs to go to worlds for experience and hit the hell out of her too low start value so one of my old blogs can happen and I can brag. I don’t remember what I named that blog either:)

  5. fatam Says:

    I’m okay with this World line-up. Don’t shoot me all at once now….

    • gymtruthteller Says:

      No way Brenna makes this team I have no clue who the person in the back is (A Wogaette would be my guess) and no Bailey Key?

    • sanitynmotion Says:

      I don’t see Brenna or Gowey (even though I love her) making this team. Only Biles and Aly and Maggie are near locks.

      • Tortuga Says:

        I agree. I even think Mykayla is a long shot this year since Aly is stronger and cleaner than her on vault and floor.

    • JK Says:

      Oh my god, I almost had a mini-heart attack when I saw that picture, haha. I thought for a second that was the official Worlds line-up.

      And yeah, I agree Biles, Aly and Maggie are locks. The rest (Rachel, Skinner and Brenna) I don’t think have a shot – maybe as alternates but that’s it.

      • gymtruthteller Says:

        I think Skinner Still has a shot and depending on them taking a bar specialist i don’t see Gabby as a lock either. She didn’t finish top 3 on any event at Nationals. It will be interesting to see if Marta let’s her get away with not training hard enough

      • JK Says:

        Yeah, I think Skinner has a shot if Marta doesn’t want to use Aly on vault. And I seriously hope Gabby doesn’t get a spot. Her routines looked labored, especially bars and that’s her main ticket to making the team. I think Kocian or maybe even Locklear have a better chance at getting that bars specialist spot over Gabby.

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