Welcome to Ana Porgras Online, dedicated to the talented Romanian Artistic Gymnast Ana. Ana won the Gold Medal in the Balance Beam Finals at the 2010 World Championship! She also is the gold medalist on the Balance Beam and Silver medalist on the Uneven Bars at the Gent World Cup. One week later, Ana was the absolute champion of the All Around competition at the Romanian National Championship, and won Gold on the Balance Beam, and Bronze on the Floor. Check around this website to learn more about Ana!
Today, the world champion on beam, Ana Porgras, enters the qualifications of the Berlin Europeans, ready to fight for the medal she missed at the last edition, at the end of a horrific competition for her.
In 2010, at Birmingham, Ana competed in qualifications and team final with pain in her right ankle, things degenerating into an ugly injury right after she managed to land off the beam in an effort to increase the total score of Romania. Retired from the event finals Ana could only follow, tears in her eyes, the beam final where she had qualified with the biggest score.
Ana, are you ready for the competition? I am, but it could have been better. I won’t risk the most difficult skills now, I just want to be safe. I still have time to work and perfect certain skills until the World Championships.
You were very upset after the beam fall at the World Cup in Paris… I've managed to leave it behind. It wasn't easy because I was extremely disappointed, but I keep telling myself that, in the end, every competition comes and goes regardless of the outcome, and it's up to me to start all over again.
What progresses have you made since the Worlds? I've improved my floor and beam routines and I've partially changed the uneven bars routine. Vault didn't go as I wanted, so I'm doing the same vault as last year.
The 2010 Europeans aren't a great memory… It was very hard for me, but I was pleased to have helped the team. Also, the beam title came to Romania in the end. I’ve passed over that event.
"The judges are more demanding"
Have things changed since you are World Champion? A little. People look different at me and expect more from me. The judges seem a little more demanding, stricter, but I'm not scared of this. If I do my beam routine perfectly, I have nothing to worry about.
Everybody is expecting a Romania-Russia duel… I’ve seen the Russians and they are very well trained, very strong, but I believe that nobody is unbeatable. Anything can happen during a competition, not only that one of us steps down the apparatus and the other advances to first place. We better stay on the apparatus, compete one-to-one, and see who's better.
What are your goals for Berlin? I want gold on beam and a final in the all-around.
4 Romanians are competing today in the qualifications of the European Championships: Sandra Izbaşa, Diana Chelaru, Ana Porgras and Amelia Racea.
Ana Porgras has won 3 medals until now: World gold on beam in 2010, World bronze on uneven bars in 2009, and European team bronze in 2010.
Ana Porgras, Sandra Izbaşa, Amelia Racea and Diana Chelaru performed Monday, April 4, the podium training at the Max Schmeling arena in Berlin, the host of the 2011 European championships, making the first contact with the apparatus on which they will perform in Wednesday's qualification.
”It was a training session in which the girls had a contact with the apparatus, with a competition atmosphere. The arena is friendly, very nice, the apparatus is good. There was a problem in the morning, in the first series (with Ana Porgras and Amelia Racea possibly) when the training was conducted with some light spots focused on the apparatus which disturbed training quite a lot. But, after the first subdivision the lights were opened because the girls had to train under the conditions in which they will perform. Tuesday we have 2 training sessions, they are normal things. Each gymnast was trying to control her interest in implementing the execution they will perform in the finals”, Octavian Bellu declared for Agerpres.
Tuesday the final nominations will be due for the women's qualification round and Octavian Bellu has not yet decided who will compete on all 4 apparatus: ”For now we would like to see how the gymnasts will perform on Tuesday, nothing is decided yet. It was a useful training session just like any other podium training session is”.
The girls will present the same exercises performed in Rotterdam, at the world championships in 2010. There was not enough time to add elements of high difficulty. ”The only thing to remark is that Sandra Izbaşa is performing a second vault, with a smaller difficulty value, but on which you can build on in the future with a more difficult vault. Finally, the girls must win with confidence, in amplitude, clean execution, good form, things which are hard to correct after years and years of competing elements in a wrong way. We are trying to solve these problems as we move on, because nobody is waiting for us”, the women's coach added.
Our girls are the favorite for the beam and floor titles, but Octavian Bellu is looking at these predictions with caution, especially because there are always surprises at these competitions:”I can't say anything and I am not making any predictions, because any competition has its surprises, is unpredictable. For example, I saw a girl from Israel who was vaulting very well, but nobody cared. Nobody owns the European title before, just because something has a history, or that her scores say that on paper. ”
Ana Porgras interview: ”The judges will be harsh with me”
At the end of a two hour training session, opened to the press, Ana Porgras (17 years old) offered the numerous journalists present at the training center in Izvorani an unmistakable smile. The beautiful girl with big eyes who the international media compared with a ballerina because of her graceful movements, spoke calmly and weighting every word in part, about the chances she has at the European Championships in Berlin. She explained to them that the judges will be very harsh with her.
How do you rate your chances in getting a medal at these European championships? Ana Porgras: It will be a difficult competition, in which the competition will be very big. But baring in mind that I already have experience from other competitions, I don't think I will be as nervous as I was in past competitions.
All the calculations show that you are the favorite to win gold on the balance beam...
Given that I am the current world champion on this apparatus, for me this means a lot. But let's not forget that the judges will be very strict. They will not judge me only because I am the world champion. If I will have a good routine, I will surely get the proper score. Precisely because I am a world champion the judges will see me differently. They will be very demanding.
Are the Russians going to be the strongest oppositions for us?
They are very good gymnasts, but they are not unbeatable.
How do you prepare yourself for a big competition?
I try to be as calm as possible, even if I have some superstitions which I haven't given up on.
Can you reveal one of them?
Yes, to step with the right foot in the arena all the time.
Usually, before a major competition, Nadia Comaneci sends you messages of encouragement. How much do these messages mean to you?
For me it's a very important thing that Nadia never forgets to send me messages before competitions and even when they finish. They make me feel different. Her messages give me more confidence in everything that I have to do. That is why I want to thank her.
With how many medals will you return from Berlin?
Its very hard to say. I don't want to make any promises, but I don't want to come home from these championships empty handed.
Ana: "When you are up there on the podium, you forget about everything. You don't think about your burst palms or about your bruises anymore."
Our friend Amalia managed to record some moments from the end of the GSP transmission where you can see Ana's and Amelia's floor routines. You can watch the videos below but take care because the sound is bad.
Amelia Racea, Ana Porgras and Diana Chelaru can’t wait to enter the European Championships in Berlin (April, 6-10).
The European champion on beam, the World champion on beam and the World vice-champion on floor are ready to conquer Europe again with their routines. On Saturday, Amelia Racea, Ana Porgras and Diana Chelaru are leaving for Berlin with their suitcases full of hopes and dreams. It's a new and exciting competition for Romania's gymnasts. [...]
The beginning of the year wasn't too much at Ana's will, the World champion on beam, at least when it comes to official competitions. She fell off the apparatus at the France Internationals this year, but she knows it was just an accident. "I am over what happened in Paris. Good or bad all competitions pass," said Ana. More than that, she had entered the competition after a break caused by her "ripped" palms.
She says she is ready both physically and psychologically for the competition in Berlin. "I'm going to do the same routines as I did at the last Worlds, without risking anything. I still have time to polish certain skills until the World Championships this year," added Ana.
Ana Porgras also declared for MEDIAFAX that the World title for beam won't give her any advantage in Berlin. "I think that the World title makes me the main favorite and I also want to live up to the expectations. But I don't think my title really matters in Berlin. Last year's Worlds are over and the judges won't give me 5 or 10 hundredths of points for being World champion. They're probably waiting for more and I expect them to take an even closer look at me," said Porgras.
The gymnast also said that Nadia Comăneci sends her encouragement messages, this being very important for our athlete. "Before and after competitions, Nadia Comăneci sends me messages of encouragement. I don't think of them as lucky charms, but they are very important for me. It's a very nice gesture of her,", added Ana Porgras.
The Romanian team for the European Gymnastics Championships, which will take place in Berlin between April 6 and April 10, were published on the official website of the competition. Therefore, our country's representatives, after what you have probably thought will be: Ana Porgras, Sandra Izbașa, Amelia Racea and Diana Chelaru. According to the list, Ana, Diana and Amelia will compete on all 4 apparatus and Sandra will compete on vault, beam and floor.
Good luck girls! You will have many fans, not only in front of the TV, but in the arena as well.