Larisa Iordache

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Larisa Iordache
— Gymnast —
Larisa2.jpg
Iordache in 2015
Personal information
Full name Larisa Andreea Iordache
Nickname(s) Pikachu, Piciul
Country represented  Romania
Born (1996-06-19) 19 June 1996 (age 20)
Bucharest, Romania
Height 1.50 m (4 ft 11 in)[1]
Weight 37 kg (82 lb)[2]
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International Elite
Years on national team 2008–present
Club CSS Dinamo
Head coach(es) Octavian Bellu
Assistant coach(es) Mariana Bitang, Florin Cotutiu
Former coach(es) Lacramioara Moldovan, Claudiu Moldovan, Gheorghe Orban, Ramona Micu, Adela Popa, Daniel Nistor, Aurica Nistor
Choreographer Corina Dorean
Music Jaiya Ho from Ramayana: The Epic

Larisa Andreea Iordache (Romanian pronunciation: [laˈrisa anˈdree̯a jorˈdake]; born 19 June 1996 in Bucharest) is a Romanian artistic gymnast who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the team competition, and she is the current leader of the Romanian women's artistic gymnastics team. She is the 2014 World silver medalist in the all-around and on floor. She is the 2015 World bronze medalist in the all-around and the 2013 World bronze medalist on floor.

As early as 2008, the Romanian press was referring to her as "The New Nadia" due to the potential that she had.[3] In her first year as a senior, Iordache won two gold medals at the 2012 European Champions with her team and on floor. In 2013 she won the European title on beam. She was the most successful gymnast at the 2014 European Championships, winning gold with her team and on floor, silver on beam, and bronze on vault. She is a nine-time gold medalist in the World Cups.

Personal life[edit]

Larisa Iordache was born in Bucharest, Romania, where she still lives today. Her favorite gymnast is the famous Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci. She has an older brother, Răzvan. Iordache got into gymnastics when she was spotted by her first coach, Mariana Câmpeanu-Silişteanu, rollerblading.[3] "I think she noticed the speed and the energy and that impressed her," Iordache said. "I didn't choose gymnastics – it chose me. It just happened. I am very glad to have got so far."[4]

Junior career[edit]

Iordache in 2009

Iordache began training at CSS Dinamo Club in Bucharest at the age of four and a half. In 2008, she became a member of the national junior team. She was then coached by Ramona Micu, Adela Popa, Lacramioara Moldovan, and Claudiu Moldovan.[3]

2010[edit]

Iordache's first major international competition was the European Championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom. She contributed an all around score of 55.550 towards the Romanian team's second-place finish behind Russia[5] and individually she placed third in the all around final behind Viktoria Komova and Anastasia Grishina with a score of 55.675.[6] In event finals, she placed fourth on vault scoring 13.862, second on balance beam scoring 14.575, and tied first on floor with Anastasia Grishina scoring 14.275.[7]

In September, Iordache competed at the Romanian Championships in Reșița. She won the all around competition with a score of 58.400, nearly four points ahead of second place Diana Bulimar.[8]

In October, Iordache competed at the Schiltigheim International in Schiltigheim, France. She won the all around final with a score of 58.000. She placed second on vault behind Elodie Perez scoring 14.350, first on uneven bars scoring 14.250, first on balance beam scoring 14.900, and first on floor scoring 14.500.[9]

2011[edit]

In June, Iordache competed at the Gym Festival in Trnava, Slovakia, where 29 gymnasts from nine countries competed. She won the all around final with a score of 59.500, and she finished nearly two points ahead of two-time Olympian Anna Pavlova (gymnast). In event finals, she placed first on uneven bars scoring 14.250, first on balance beam scoring 15.600, and first on floor scoring 14.850.[10]

Later in June, Iordache competed in an international meet against Great Britain in Lilleshall. The Romanian team finished in first, and they outscored the British on all events except the uneven bars. Iordache won the all-around title with a score of 58.300, nearly five points ahead of British silver medalist Gabby Jupp.[11]

In May, Iordache competed as a guest at the French Team Championships, held in Toulouse. She contributed an all around score of 58.800 towards Alliance Dijon's first-place finish. The Alliance Dijon team included Iordache, Daniela Andrei, and Raluca Haidu from Romania, and French gymnasts Sophia Serseri, Laurie Antoniazzi, and Julie Roemer.[12]

In July, Iordache competed at the 2011 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival in Trabzon, Turkey. She contributed an all around score of 57.800 towards the Romanian team's second-place finish[13][14] and individually she won the all around final with a score of 57.550.[15] In event finals, she placed second on vault scoring 14.225, second on uneven bars scoring 13.475, first on balance beam scoring 15.000 and first on floor scoring 14.275.[16]

Senior career[edit]

2012[edit]

At the beginning of March, Iordache competed at the American Cup in New York City, United States. She placed third in the all around competition behind Jordyn Wieber and Aly Raisman with a score of 59.332.[17]

At the end of March, Iordache competed at the Artistic Gymnastics World Cup event in Doha, Qatar. She placed fourth in the uneven bars final with a score of 14.525.[18]

In April, Iordache competed at an international meet against France in Cholet, France. She helped Romania to win the team competition and individually she won the all around with a score of 60.150.[19]

Later in April, Iordache competed at an international meet against Germany and the United Kingdom in Ulm, Germany. She helped Romania to win the team competition and individually she won the all around with a score of 59.750.[20]

In May, Iordache competed at the 2012 European Women's Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Brussels, Belgium. She contributed an all around score of 58.757 towards the Romanian team's first-place finish. In event finals, she placed second on balance beam behind teammate Cătălina Ponor with a score of 15.133 and first on floor with a score of 15.233.[21]

At the beginning of July, Iordache competed at an international meet against France, Germany, and Italy in her hometown, Bucharest. She helped Romania to win the team competition and individually she won the all around with a score of 60.850.[22]

Iordache (second from the left) with the 2012 Olympic Romanian team

London Olympics[edit]

At the end of July, Iordache represented Romania at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.[23] Prior to the competition, she developed Plantar fasciitis in her left foot causing severe pain. Her coach, Mariana Bitang said, "We don't know what will happen — it depends how things go after this. If she's fine, she will do all events to qualify to the all-around final. It's hard to say now."[24] During podium training, Iordache only did full routines on the uneven bars and the balance beam. Mariana Bitang said it was a "50 percent chance" of whether she would be able to compete on all four events.[25] However, Iordache did compete on all four events in the qualification round, and she helped Romania finish fourth in qualifications.[26] Individually she qualified to the all around final with a score of 57.800.[27] In the team final, she contributed scores of 14.800 on vault, 13.766 on uneven bars, and 15.300 on balance beam toward the Romanian team's third-place finish behind Russia and the United States.[28] Iordache said, "You always want to do better, but any Olympic medal is important for a team. We are happy."[29] She placed ninth in the all around final with a score of 57.965[30] and sixth in the balance beam final with a score of 14.200.[31] The Olympics were Iordache's last competition of the season.

2013[edit]

Iordache performing on floor during the all-around final at the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium on 4 October 2013

At the 6th Doha FIG World Challenge Cup in Qatar, Iordache placed second on the vault final behind Phan Thi Ha Thanh with a score of 14.675, and seventh on the uneven bars final with a score of 13.325 on 28 March 2013.[32] On 29 March, she placed first on the balance beam final ahead of Zeng Siqi and Gabrielle Jupp with a score of 15.500, and second on the floor exercise final behind Diana Bulimar with a score of 14.425.[33]

At the 2013 European Championships in Moscow, Iordache had a fantastic start qualifying first to the all around finals and beam finals, second to floor finals, and fourth to vault finals. At the all around finals, Iordache had a great start, performing a routine of the score 14.833 on beam, 14.866 on floor, and 14.9 on vault. In the final rotation, she performed an average routine on bars and scored 13.833, which bumped her to second place after Aliya Mustafina of Russia. In the vault final on 20 April, Iordache tied with Dutch gymnast Noel van Klaveren for second place with a score of 14.466.[34] After this she won silver in the floor final and gold in the beam final.

At the 2013 Anadia World Grand Prix she won gold on beam (15.650) and floor (14.650, tied with Diana Bulimar).[35]

In October, Iordache competed at the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium. In the all-around final, she finished fourth due to a fall from the beam on her back handspring full twist.[36] She fell on the same skill in the beam finals and scored 13.933 for seventh place. However, in the floor exercise final, she managed to grab the bronze medal behind Simone Biles and Vanessa Ferrari with a double twisting double tuck, a full twisting double tuck and a double pike. This was her first medal in the World Championships.

2014[edit]

In March Iordache competed at the Doha World Challenger Cup where she won gold on vault, beam, and floor.[37] In April, Iordache helped her team win gold at the France-Romania-Belgium Tri-Friendly meet. She had the highest scores of the competition on all apparatus, and she won the all-around title by 3 points over teammate Diana Bulimar.[38]

At the 2014 European Championships, Iordache was the most successful gymnast.[39] She was the only one to qualify to all four apparatus finals,[40] the only one to win two gold medals[41] and the most decorated gymnast of the championships (with a total of four).[42][43] Iordache was also voted as "Miss European Championships" in the 2014 edition. She said, "I am surprised and really happy to receive such a recognition. I didn't expect it! For me the most important thing was the competition, but here you are, I am now honoured to be Miss European Championships – how nice!"[44]

The Romanian National Gymnastics Championships were held in September, and Iordache won 4 of the 5 gold medals. She won the all-around competition with 59.650, beating second place Ștefania Stănilă by nearly 4 points. The only gold she didn't win was on balance beam, where Andreea Munteanu won gold while Iordache took silver.[45] Later that week, Iordache competed at the Switzerland-Germany-Romania Tri-Friendly meet in Obersiggenthal, Switzerland, and the Romanian team finished second behind Germany. She won the all-around competition, finishing nearly 2 points ahead of second place Giulia Steingruber.[46]

In October, Iordache was named to the Romanian team for the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China. After the team finished 7th in the qualification round,[47] she led the largely inexperienced Romanian team to a 4th-place finish.[48] Individually, she won a silver medal in the All Around competition, behind Simone Biles and ahead of Kyla Ross.[49] Afterwards she said, "It is a good result. I am quite pleased with what I did today, but that does not mean I can not do even better.[50] Everything is possible at any one competition. Today I did not get gold but next time there is always a chance."[51] In the beam final Iordache fell on her back handspring tuck full series, and she finished in 5th. Later that day, she won the silver medal in the floor final behind Simone Biles. At the end of the competition she said, "After I lost on beam, it was so difficult for me to come back. It was fortunate that I came back well on floor, and I was happy to finally perform my routine without mistakes. I want to practice and practice so I can hit all of my elements and add difficulty. Time will tell if I am able to someday beat her (Simone Biles). It's hard to say what the future will bring. Next year is next year...we will see then. But I will try my best."[52]

After the World Championships, she participated in the Arthur Gander Memorial placing second behind Russian Daria Spiridonova.[53] At the end of the year, Iordache competed in the Stuttgart and Glasgow World Cups. In Stuttgart, she won the all-around title with a score of 59.766 ahead of Jessica López and Kim Bùi. She received the highest score on every event except the uneven bars.[54] In Glasgow, Iordache posted the highest score on every event to take home the all-around gold with 59.232. She finished nearly three points ahead of silver medalist Ellie Black.[55]

2015[edit]

Iordache was scheduled to compete at the World Cup events in Doha and Cottbus, but withdrew due to ankle injury.[56] She was later pulled from the 2015 European Championships.[57] She also had to skip the 2015 European Games due to school exams.[58]

Iordache returned to competition on 12 September at the 2015 Romania-France Friendly competition, winning the all-around gold with an overall score of 58.150 and helping Romania to the team gold.[59][60] On 24 September, she was named to the 2015 World Championships team along with Catalina Ponor, Diana Bulimar, Laura Jurca, Ana Maria Ocolişan, and Silvia Zarzu.[61] At the Romanian National Championships, Iordache won gold with the Dinamo team and in the all-around with a score of 60.900. She also won gold on bars, beam, and floor.[62] In October, Iordache competed at the Novara cup against Italy, Belgium, and Spain. The Romanian team (Iordache, Diana Bulimar, Ana Maria Ocolişan, Laura Jurca, Silvia Zarzu, and Andreea Iridon) won the gold medal, and Iordache won the all-around with a 59.750.[63]

Iordache was selected to compete at the 2015 World Championships along with Diana Bulimar, Ana Maria Ocolişan, Laura Jurca, Silvia Zarzu, and Catalina Ponor.[64] However, Ponor withdrew after having surgery, and alternate Andreea Iridon was put in.[65] On the day before the qualification round, Ocolisan injured her ankle and could not compete.[66] In the qualification round, Iordache scored a disappointing 55.698 in the all-around after downgrading her floor routine and falling off the uneven bars and balance beam.[67] The Romanian team finished in thirteenth place, meaning that they did not directly qualify for the 2016 Olympics.[68] Their performance was described as a meltdown as everyone except Jurca fell off the uneven bars and they had several falls off the balance beam.[69] Iordache and her teammates were seen crying afterwards.[69] Iordache finished sixteenth all-around in the qualification round, but in the all-around final she won the bronze medal with a score of 59.107 behind Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles.[70] After winning this medal she stated, "I feel much better now than Friday, but I want much more, all the time. It was so hard for me. But I have my coach, my parents, my girls and my team with me. Today was good for me. Just enjoy it and just do it how you can. It was so good for me."[71]

After the World Championships, Iordache competed at the Arthur Gander Memorial where she won the all-around gold medal ahead of Pauline Schäfer from Germany and Diana Bulimar.[72]

2016[edit]

In March, Iordache broke her finger during training and had to have surgery.[73] She missed the 2016 Gymnastics Olympic Test Event in April, and Romania failed to qualify a full team to the Olympics.[74] She missed making a spot on the Olympic team due to lack of preparation as a result of her finger injury. She will travel to Rio as an alternate for Catalina Ponor, who received Romanias sole berth. The Romanian Gymnastics Federation will attempt to appeal for Larisa Iordache to compete with Catalina Ponor at the olympics.

Competitive history[edit]

Iordache (center) with Diana Bulimar and Sandra Izbașa
Iordache in 2015
Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2009 Top Gym Trophy 3rd 1st 7th 1st
2010 Romanian International Championships 1st 1st
Junior European Championships 2nd 3rd 2nd 1st
2011 Gym-Festival 1st
ROU-GBR Friendly 1st
French Championships 1st
European Youth Summer Olympic Festival 2nd 1st 2nd 2nd 1st 1st
2012 American Cup 3rd
Doha World Cup 5th
European Championships 1st 2nd 1st
FRA-ROU Friendly 1st 1st
GER-GBR-ROU Friendly 1st 1st
Olympic Games 3rd 9th 6th
2013 Doha World Cup 2nd 6th 1st 2nd
European Championships 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd
Anadia World Cup 1st 1st
Romanian National Championships 2nd 1st 1st 1st 2nd
World Championships 4th 7th 3rd
Stuttgart World Cup 2nd
Glasgow World Cup 1st
2014 Doha World Cup 1st 1st 1st
BEL-FRA-ROU Friendly 1st 1st
European Championships 1st 3rd 6th 2nd 1st
Romanian National Championships 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st
SUI-GER-ROU Friendly 2nd 1st 1st 3rd 1st 1st
World Championships 4th 2nd 5th 2nd
Arthur Gander Memorial 2nd
Stuttgart World Cup 1st
Glasgow World Cup 1st
2015 FRA-ROU Friendly 1st 1st
National Championships 1st 1st 1st 1st 1st
Novara Cup 1st 1st
World Championships 3rd
Arthur Gander Memorial 1st
2016 National Championships 1st 1st 2nd
FRA-ROU Friendly 2nd
Chemnitz Friendly 3rd

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  72. ^ Hopkins, Lauren (10 November 2015). "2015 Arthur Gander Memorial Results". The Gymternet. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  73. ^ Turner, Amanda. "Iordache Out of Rio Qualification with Injury". intlgymnast.com. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  74. ^ Fincher, Julia. "Report: Gymnast Catalina Ponor, not Larisa Iordache, will represent Romania in Rio". nbcolympics.com. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.

External links[edit]