Romania Olympic gymnastics streak ends

Diana Bulimar

Romania, the gold standard of women’s gymnastics as recently as 12 years ago, has failed to qualify into the 12-nation Olympic women’s gymnastics team event.

Romania had earned medals in every Olympic women’s gymnastics team event since 1976. That streak ends this year, with the Olympics still four months away.

The Romanian women finished 13th in qualifying at the World Championships in October, where they needed to be top eight in their first qualifying chance.

Then they finished seventh out of eight nations at a last-chance qualifying event at the Rio Olympic venue on Sunday, when they needed to be top four.

Romania had slipped in recent years, after taking its last Olympic team titles in 2000 and 2004, but was still fourth at the 2014 World Championships.

Its dramatic collapse at 2015 Worlds came with a roster that included reigning World all-around silver medalist Larisa Iordache, the closest woman to American superstar Simone Biles in 2014.

Iordache missed Sunday’s event in Rio due to a March broken finger, but the team instead had Catalina Ponor, a triple Olympic champion from Athens 2004 attempting another comeback.

Ponor posted Romania’s highest score of the day — a 14.6 on balance beam — but the team finished a distant 4.3 points out of qualifying position. Full results are here.

The U.S. is massively favored to repeat as Olympic champion in Rio — regardless of Romania’s absence — with Russia, China and Great Britain the other medal contenders.

Romania can still send one woman to compete in the Olympic all-around competition.

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Today it was a sad day for us , Romania unfortunately didn't qualify for Olympics , so sad for me cause actually I come back from retirement just for this …. Well didn't happened ! I don't know what it will happened from now on but I wanna say Thank u for everyone for your support and wanna thank u first to all brasilians that they were calling out loud my name !That was the best moment , a feeling that I haven't feel from long time ago ! I fight for this team till the end I wanted to show that whatever wanna do , u can ! And yes I can still do gymnastics beside my age and not only to do , I still can do at high level ! Anyways thank u again for all your support it was an amazing feeling to compete here in Rio ! Love u all ❤️🙏🏻🙌🏻

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