Romania’s hopes (2): Anamaria Tamirjan

We were starting, a few months ago, the series of articles about the Romania’s artistic gymnastics hopes. We chose then Gabriela Dragoi as first “hope” to write about thanks to her surprising evolution during the Olympics, where she finished 5th in the beam finals.

Another pleasant surprise came last year at the Europeans, where Anamaria Tamirjan won the bronze medal during the floor final. Unfortunately, after that success, new injuries kept her from generating even more surprises during the Olympics and the following competitions in 2008.

Given the fact that she was, even while injured, the 3rd most important member of the Romanian Olympic team in 2008, we still consider Ana as one of our biggest hopes for the 2009 competitions. That holds also in the context of the retirement of our most complete gymnast of the past years, Steliana Nistor.

First impression…

I personally noticed the Tamirjan sisters (Anamaria and Adriana) years ago, during the Romanian Nationals, at the time when Catalina Ponor, Alexandra Eremia and Monica Rosu (“the 2004 generation”) were at the top of their career. At that time I was imagining how nice it would be to have the opportunity of watching Anamaria and Adriana competing both for the Romanian team at the European or World Championships. Moreover, I was hoping I could see them sometime together on the same podium… However, I wasn’t at that point aware yet of their value and potential. They always seemed a bit inconsistent and their routines were having quite low difficulty scores….until years after, when I discovered them again as members of the Romanian team. They soon became my favourites on beam. But every time the dream of seeing them compete together was turning into an illusion, as at every national or international competition the roster only contained either the name of Adriana or the one of Anamaria.

The beginning…

The two sisters were born in Constanta on May 18, 1991. Their family moved short time after to Ploiesti and there, within CS Petrolul Ploiesti, the girls started gymnastics at the age of 4. Just like almost any other member of the Romanian team, they have trained in the Onesti junior training centre,starting the age of 12. Afterwards, they moved to Deva national training centre.

The competitions…

According to Ana’s interview published in the International Gymnast Magazine, an elbow injury kept her from participating to the Junior European Championships in Volos, in 2006. Other injuries followed, her name remaining pretty much unknown in the gymnastics world until 2008.

After the Romanian Internationals in 2007, when we only could enjoy Adriana’s routines, the Romanian Nationals same year brought to our attention only Anamaria’s. She seemed to start getting luckier that year, as she also managed to get selected as a team member for the Worlds in Stuttgart.

During the Moscow World Star Gymnastics Ana obtained relatively modest results. She placed 5th on floor, 7th on uneven bars and 8th on beam, results which weren’t anticipating in any way the important role that she was going to play within the team, a year later.

During the Romanian Nationals that year she won a silver medal on floor, behind Sandra Izbasa. Unfortunately, the same bad luck which had probably kept also Adriana from participating to the Worlds in Stuttgart, also affected Anamaria, who suffered an injury during podium training. This wa, Anamaria had to step out from the competition (she was replaced by the alternate Andreea Dragoi) and lost the chance of winning a bronze medal together with the team.

2008 and the Olympic Games…

2008, the year of the greatest sport event in the world, was finding Ana as the 3rd most important member of the Romanian gymnastics team, next to the vice-world champions Steliana Nistor and Sandra Izbasa. After a few competitions, Anamaria’s moment came at the Europeans in Clermont Ferrand (France). Despite of the low expectations of the fans all over the world, Ana made no mistakes during both qualifications and team final. Moreover, she surprised everyone by winning the bronze medal on floor, giving her hopes for the same final in Beijing.

Here you can watch her FX routine from the event finals.

Unfortunately, a mysterious injury (which was revealed after the Olympics as being a femur fissure) kept Anamaria out of the Romanian Nationals in Ploiesti. More than that, she was not able to train at full capacity until only a couple of weeks before the Olympics, which had a strong impact on her performance in Beijing. Even under these circumstances, she still helped the team win the bronze medal. And she even surprised us with a first double Yourcenko vault that she had ever performed during a competition…

2009

After recovering from injuries, the beginning of 2009 found Ana in the gym, wishing this would be a great year for her…and through her also for her sister, who had to retire months before Olympics due to back problems. Now Adriana can only watch and encourage her sister from the audience and Ana’s impressive words during an interview in Prosport last year say everything about the ambition and the power of this wonderful gymnast.

Up to now, unfortunately, the Ana’s hopes and ambition were not enough for getting her were she deserves to be. Other health problems kept her away from the first international competition of the year, the American Cup, which she could not attend despite of her early registration.

After a testing competition in Jesolo (Italy), where the limited training of the last months was obvious in the quality of her evolutions, Ana is looking forward to competing for medals at the Europeans in Milan…for both her and Adriana: “What happened to my sister did not discourage me. On the contrary, I am going to be tough and I will fight for both of us. I have to obtain the best results I am capable of, so that she can be proud of me. I miss our little talks, I miss working side by side with her…” (Prosport).

We are wishing Ana lots of success this year and we hope that she will finally manage to prove her full potential. I’ve always supported the Tamirjan sisters and every time I see Anamaria’s routines I also think of Adriana. I always remember the little twins I was watching competing side by side a couple of years ago …how I liked their grace, their ambition, their aggressivity on the beam, their delicateness on floor…

Good luck, Ana! It’s your time now!!!

Crisloregym

 

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