Will We See Diana Chelaru at Worlds?
Diana Chelaru, as expected, was on the nominative worlds team for Romania. She is one of the girls that makes Romania’s floor lineup undeniably one of the best in the world. Chelaru, along with teammate Sandra Izbasa, sat out nationals a few weeks ago, supposedly due to an old injury flairing up, but it did not sound like the injuries would stop either of them from being able to attend worlds.
That still seems to be true for Izbasa, who is scheduled to compete in the tri-meet against Switzerland and Germany this weekend, but Chelaru, who was originally on the team, has been replaced by Daniela Andrei (the current alternate for worlds). Yesterday, fangymnastics tweeted “Diana Chelaru will not compete in Erzingen this weekend. She was replaced by Dana Andrei…..I don’t think she will be ready for Worlds :(.”
I hope that Chelaru is able to compete, but if she is not, a spot opens up for another one of Romania’s top floor workers, Diana Bulimar. This is, of course, assuming that Catalina Ponor will be added to the team and Raluca Haidu would make the team over Bulimar due to her strength on bars. With the loss of Chelaru, Romania also loses a vault that they may have used in Tokyo. Chelaru would not have been used on the other two events.
A vault lineup without Chelaru would probably consist of Izbasa and two of Haidu, Racea and Ponor, who would compete for the spot in prelims. Floor would also probably be Izbasa as the only lock with Porgras, Ponor and Bulimar competing for the final two spots in prelims. It may seem a bit silly to take Bulimar if she may not even contribute on her specialty, but she finished behind both Porgras and Ponor at nationals. And Romania, like Russia, is running out of girls to take who can contribute.
On a somewhat related note, it seems like Chelaru was planning on competing a new floor routine in Tokyo. The nominative list, which I was finally able to open with the help of google documents, includes floor music for almost every gymnast, which is actually really nice. Chelaru’s is listed as Sunrise Sunset by Jerry Bock (video below). Oddly, it is also listed as being 94 seconds.
It is so different from Chelaru’s old music that I am having a very hard time imagining what she would do with it, but it would certainly be interesting to see. It definitely seems like it would be a more mature routine. Chelaru will a contender for a medal on floor if she is healthy. She is currently tied for 5th with 10 votes in my worlds predictions poll (this placement may or may not have something to due with that she may not compete).
Good luck to Diana! I hope that the coaches continue to be careful with her, even if it means that we will not see her at worlds. The closer we get to the Olympics, the more likely it is that a serious injury will take a gymnast out of contention.