[Interview] Robert Stanescu – “If the health will help me, we are definitely going to meet in Rotterdam this year!”

[Given the fact that today it is Robert Stanescu’s anniversary, we would like to wish him all the best and lots of health!!!! And we would like to celebrate him in our way: by translating into English the interview we had with him a couple of months ago. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROBERT!!!!]

Multiple Romanian National and International champion, European, World and Olympic finalist on rings, but also bronze medalist at the Europeans in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 2008, Robert Stanescu already became a reference name in the gymnastics world. Given his results on rings in the last two years, Robert becomes the next Romanian champion on this event, after Dan Grecu and Dan Burinca. Providing he stays healthy, we strongly believe that Robert will be on the World podium on rings in the next years, during all competitions he will attend.

We approached Robert and he was so kind to answer our questions. As a result, we invite you all to read the way we realized this interview with his significant help.

After placing 7th on rings at the Olympics in Beijing last year, here you are, at the end of this year, so close to the podium. You have finished 4th on rings at the Worlds in London. Satisfied with this performance?

Yes, I am quite satisfied. It is a very important results for me. Just that I always want more, so that I would have preferred to finish with a medal at these Worlds.

From what we all have seen in London, there has been a tough competition in the Event Finals on rings. The D scores were very alike for all participants. How did you feel it?

At least on rings, the level was very high at these Worlds. As you could see, the events finals were tough, but there were also some pleasant surprises.

At the beginning of 2009, the Code of Points suffered some changes. How did these changes influence your rings routine? Were there any changes to give you a competitive advantage?

It is true, my routine was affected by the new Code of Points and it has not been in my advantage at all. My D score has decreased by 0.2 points compared to the routine I performed at the Olympics.

There have been rumors in the gymnastics world that this new Code of Points discourages gymnasts from training for AA competition. What is your position regarding this statement? You have been training and competing on various events during the last years. What about now? Will you just focus on rings or will you try to train and compete on some other events too?

It is not just the Code of Points that discourages gymnasts from training and competing in the AA. It is also the fact that in the whole world more and more gymnasts become specialists on only one or two events. However, if I stay healthy enough, I will definitely help the Romanian team on as many events as I can.

We found out before these Worlds that your medical status is quite delicate. You cannot train properly because of some back problems that seem not to cease. What is it actually about?

The medical charts say it is Lombar Discopathy (I am not sure on its depth, but it seems it is quite concerning).

What are the ways to solve these problems? Surgery? Pause from training?

I understood there are various solutions to these problems. One of them is surgery, but I would like to avoid it. The risk of taking it might be to never be able to do gymnastics again.

Obviously, rings are your favorite event. However, Romania did not have too many specialists on this event, except for, of course, Dan Grecu and Dan Burinca, our only European or World medalists on this event. Why do you think Romanian gymnasts are not specialized on this event? Which qualities should a gymnast possess in order to have good results on elite level on this event? Why do you like it so much?

There is much work, discipline and very much perseverance a gymnast should showin his training on rings. But one firstly needs physical POWER, as well as motility and WILL. Height is also an advantage – short gymnasts have an important advantage on this event. I am actually a little bit taller than ideal. Despite that, I have always liked this event, from my first years of doing gymnastics. And I also was very lucky to have coaches who always knew how to focus on my strengths and qualities. All these ingredients brought me in the position of competing with the best in the world. And I like it.

Do you or did you have a role model in gymnastics? Do you have any favorite gymnast? Who would that be and what do you most appreciate on him?

I do not have any role model in gymnastics or in my day to day life. But I can say that one of my favorite gymnasts is the Chinese Chen Yibing, the Rings Olympic Champion in Beijing last year. I mostly appreciate his easiness of performing. From the retired gymnasts, there is a special place for Mr. Dan Grecu, who has also been my mentor during my gymnastics career.

Would you like to describe us your rings routine at these Worlds? What are the elements, what is the value of each element, where did you have form breaks and where do you believe that it could have gone better?

I started my execution with a back roll to maltesse (F value), then I continued with a piked Azarian (D value), then I made a back roll to L-cross (E value), continuing with a swing to inverted cross (D value), a front double pike (D value) and a back uprise to planche (D value).

I then continued with a back uprise to maltesse (E value), followed by a bounce to cross (D value) and a swing forward through to handstand (C value). I finished my routine with a double layout with a full twist (D value).

I was a bit disappointed with some small balance-checks during the routine and with the step during the landing. If the health will help me, we are definitely going to meet in Rotterdam this year!

Robert started doing gymnastics when he was 5 years old, at CSS 7 Dinamo Bucharest with Mr. Velea Victor, Mrs. Cristea Valentina and Mr. Paraschiv Daniel as coaches. He got in the National Team in 2003 and his first big competition as a senior was in 2006, when he was part of the Romanian team at the World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark.

Robert, thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. We would like to wish you lots of health, because if you are healthy we are sure that you can achieve what you’ve always dreamt of! We hope to see each other during the National competitions from next year and, of course, at the Worlds in Rotterdam. Good luck!

Fangymnastics Team

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