Saturday 30 June 2012

So Close Saturday

Romanian Elegance

In recent years Romanian women's gymnastics has been going through a lull. There has been a distinct lack of medals and no real 'characters' within the Romanian team. Apart from Ana Porgras that is.

Ana Porgras turned senior in 2009 after an impressive junior career but already suffering from injuries, starting the year recovering from knee surgery. However, in her debut senior year, she not only became Romanian National Champion but came away from the 2009 World Championships with a Bronze medal on beam. This may sound impressive, but it could have been so much more. In qualification Ana performed beautifully, placing 1st on beam, 2nd all around and 3rd on floor. Mistakes in the final meant that she was left without any medals on these apparatus, eventually finishing 7th all around.

In 2010 Ana Porgras defended her national title, becoming National Champion for the second year running. Her style, grace and elegance were very much in evidence at the 2010 World Championships, wowing us with her delightful rouines, particularly on the beam. Although she yet again finished out of the medals in the all around, she performed beautifully to win the Gold on beam.

Ana always performed with great elegance, something which was recognised at the 2011 World Championships where she received the Longines Prize of Elegance. It was to be the only award she received at these championships due to problems in qualifying and finishing only 6th all around.

Ana Porgras announced her retirement at the beginning of 2012 having never taken an international all around medal. Although her fabulous style could never be questioned and she was always beautiful to watch, I always felt as if she was lacking in confidence. She never quite seemed to believe in herself and her performances which led to the small mistakes and problems which kept her out of the medals. With changes in the Romanian camp as well as ongoing injury issues, Ana obviously felt it was time to call it a day. I however will greatly miss seeing her elegant routines.

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