Gymnast Catalina Ponor retires, her career totaling five Olympic medals after she won silver in the floor event at the London Olympic Games.
Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang, the coaches of the Romanian women’s artistic gymnastics team, stated yesterday in London that they do not plan to leave the team but pointed out that their contract expires at the end of this month, realitatea.net informs. Likewise, Bellu and Bitang denied the allegations that they will leave abroad.
Bellu and Bitang also stated they will take a final decision on their return to Romania, a decision that will depend on the strategy of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation and of the Romanian Olympic Sports Committee (COSR). “I believe that all this fuss started from the fact that our agreement with the federation ends after the Olympic Games. It’s the end of our contract. But that doesn’t mean we’re leaving the team, that we’re resigning and we’re abandoning everything. These are other people’s conclusions. We said nothing to no one about our departure. We didn’t talk with anyone about our future prior to the Olympic Games, nobody wasted time on this! It’s not the time, we haven’t talked about it” Mariana Bitang stated. In his turn, Octavian Bellu stated: “Let’s focus on things we can solve here. The involvement of the ones working on the future project will matter a lot. I’m interested in what will happen with the sport I’ve been involved in for so many years, but my involvement can take other forms too,” Octavian Bellu said.The two coaches allegedly told a ‘Gazeta Sporturilor’ correspondent on Tuesday evening that they will step down from the helm of the Romanian team but will not retire from the sport as a whole. ‘Gazeta Sporturilor’ wrote that they may have accepted one of the numerous offers they received from “abroad.” Tensions at the team appeared after Catalina Ponor lost the bronze medal in the balance beam event on Tuesday after the American team made an appeal. Ponor went on to win silver in the floor event. Bellu said yesterday the gymnastics refereeing has been a correct one and he has nothing to reproach.At the same time, Catalina Ponor stated that these Olympic Games were the last competition of her career. Her sports record includes five Olympic medals, three of them gold. “I retire without regrets. I worked every second for the team, I worked every second for myself, I worked every second for everyone. I’ve already won the Olympic title and I’ll retire with my head up. I thank everyone for their support and I’m sorry I let them down,” Ponor stated for the Olympic Games’ official website.Yesterday, during a press conference, she stated that she wants to apologize for saying the coaches did not congratulate her after the floor exercise that gave her the silver medal. “I didn’t know why they left in a hurry after I won the medal. I would have liked my interview to be shown in its entirety because I thanked them for being by my side,” Ponor stated