Away from the public eye, in the seclusion of the Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire, the British and the Romanian women’s teams along with two guests from Portugal had a three-day training camp followed by friendly competition on Saturday, 17th and Sunday, 18th September.
Led by the triple World Champion on bars Beth Tweddle the British won the team event 1.55pts ahead of their guests (229.45:227.90). The current British Champion Hannah Whelan scored highest in the all-around (57.95), followed by the Romanians Amelia Racea
(57.30) and Ana Porgras
In the Sunday’s apparatus finals Tweddle won the bars (15.325) and the floor (14.950) with another set of fluent performances, while Raluca Haidu
(ROM) was best on vault (14.725) and Ana Porgras
(ROM) - on beam (15.250).
Octavian Bellu, Head Coach of Romania:
“This was a very useful competition for us. Everybody is now looking forward to the World Championships in Tokyo and it was good to check the level of our preparation, to see what the judging standards and criteria are, so that in the remaining ten days we can do some adjustment to our exercises and then, hopefully, compete well in Tokyo. We are, of course, aiming to qualify a full team for London 2012, but the results in Japan are not our prime target; we take these World Championships only as a stage of our preparation for London 2012.
On Catalina Ponor, triple gold medallist from Athens 2004, who performed three routines out of contest, he stated:
“She returned to competition 4 years after she had retired and in 6 months only she achieved a spectacular come back to form. I believe that she will continue improving, so that she is at her best next year in London
Adrian Stan, BG Technical Director for women:
“That was a very positive event for us and a milestone in our preparation for the Tokyo World Championships. Everybody in the team is in a very good mood, contained, calm and ready to go.
The results in this competition were a bit unexpected for us! What we hope now is to deliver the same level of performance in Tokyo and to end the Competition I in a position better than the 8th.
(I.e. the top 8 teams in Tokyo will qualify automatically for London 2012).”
1. Great Britain 229.450
2. Romania 227.900AA
1. Hannah Whelan 57.950
2. Amelia Racea
3. Ana Porgras
1. Raluca Haidu
2. Amelia RaceaUneven Bars
1. Beth Tweddle 15.325
2. Raluca Haidu Balance Beam
1. Ana Porgras
2. Danusia Francis 14.750
3. Diana Bulimar
3. Hannah Wheelan Floor
1. Beth Tweddle 14.950
2. Diana Bulimar
3. Diana Chelaru