beauty in gymnastic is not enough"
An interview with Octavian Belu, head coach of World Champion
Romania by GYMmedia-staff Hans Juergen Zeume.
Norbert Kuhn (right) a coach of SC
Berlin worked as translator. Kuhn (former Romanian) defected to Federal Republic of
Germany in 1983 and since then works as Coach in Germany.
(Translation in English:
Kerry Bleasdale Georgia/USA)
Belu - ( born in 17th Feb. 1951)
- Aktive gymnast himself-- Since 1962 in Ploesti,
stepped up to Champion class category, team champion with the squad of sport high school
Bucharest in 1972.
("I had to quit gymnastic, because I grew too strong and became tall".)
- Since 1947 he has been a coach.
- Since 1981 coach of Romanian selection team after the senior coach Bela
ly stay in the US and established world famous gymnastic school in Houston/Texas .
10 weeks after Karoly's exile Belu was advanced to the responsible coach in achievement
training center Deva.
Under his supervision Romanian female gymnasts have won in fact 153 medals since 1981.
In Olympic games:
11 golds, 7 silvers, 11 bronzes
At World Championships, it was success: 24 golds, 20 silvers, 21
At European Championships:
24 golds, 20 silvers, 15 bronzes
--Your gymnasts have won extraordinary three nations competition against Spain
(151,212) and Germany (147.848) with 154,862 points in Berlin-Henningsdorf, nevertheless
you have no satisfied looking?
Octavian Belu: I'm satisfied
with my team only partial. Because my girls made mistakes, too. At this friendship nations
competition it is still overlooked and also scored favorable. There was no strictness of
world championships. It is full 2 months before wolrlds so such inaccuracies are normal.
But till Tianjin we must work for stability and whole performance.
--Please give us a word for German gymnasts, who has many anxieties and
dissatisfactions in former times in their field?
Octavian Belu: I heard that they are
not worlds-squad, some are reserved and some are injured. Three achievement holder (Yvonne
Pioch from Berlin, Lisa Brueggemann and Birgit Schweigert from Cologne) were missing.
But there was bright outlook, too. Katrin Kewitz showed terrific new mount (handspring
front- tucked front) And Dagmar Fehrenschildt has qualities to be very good gymnast.
--There's a hard discussion in Germany that German team can't make it again,
to be qualified for Olympic games (like 1995 Sabae) . How do you see that?
Octavian Belu: Logically it would be,
when they would make it. At tradition, potential and possibility! Since Atlanta 1996 I've
seen all teams, all that were under best 12 in Atlanta. You must use a good strategy now
in Tianjin, to make it really success this time. Spain and Australia became strongly
better. Canada performed on the level with the US. Every team, who want to be under the
best 12, shouldn't surrender from the start. It is also valid for Germans, who fought well
at this nations competition. I say always; without fight no success. Only beauty in
gymnastic is not enough.
--There's a proverb of "Good things are three" in Germany. You
became world champion in 94 Dortmund, 95 Sabae, and 97 Lausanne with your team in a row.
Do you have the titles enough?
Octavian Belu: As for "Good
things are three" it's over. Because 1987 in Rotterdam I've won with our gymnasts at
the first time. I don't misunderstand, that we are goin
g to win in Tianjin again. And many times after that.
--But for that the condition must meet and also huge support through politics
and economy. How is that in Romania, after the political change of 1989?
Octavian Belu: We get all what we
need. Our sports minister Antonescu gives us a optimal support. Since two
years whole coordination is in the hand of NOC and their president Ion Tiriac. Former
discus thrower Lia Malinou died and Ion Tiriac, who was
once a world famous tennis player and a manager, made a new form of su
pport. Our sponsor became ROM-Telecom.
--To have success, to satisfy politics, NOC, sponsor and residents, you must
train maximal. How many hours do Romanian national team gymnast in a week?
Octavian Belu: 7 hours in a day. The
best 20 gymnasts gather in archievement training center in Deva.
(That is 42 hours in a week at 6 training days ! In comparison: German gymnasts
seldom train over 30 hours in a week. Edit.)
--What is your plan till world championships in Tianjin?
Octavian Belu: We go
to the Black Sea from here for a rest. On 19th July there's a duell meet with Great
Britain. My friend Adrian Stan is head coach there. With his gymnasts we
train for 1 month and in the middle of August Italian gymnasts come to us, too. On 28th
August there's a nation meet of Italy, England, and Romania in Trieste. After national
championship on 5th September in Sibiu, we choose the member for world
--You presented European junior champion Andrea Isarescu and Andrea Raducan at
the meet of Berlin Henningsdorf, too. Are you in anticipation of Sydney Olympic in 2000?
Octavian Belu: I'm already going to put the two in the team for
Tianjin worlds, not Sydney. I can put more 5 junior gymnasts in the team. These five can't
be qualified for nation competition this time but they are reserved. I don't want to
mention their name yet. We can still have one or other tactical varieties.
Andrea Isarescu and Andrea Raducan (right)
GY Mmedia: --What
is your as a coach?
Octavian Belu: "Never
--Aren't you never satisfied?
Octavian Belu: I am not satisfied yet.
I don't know what that will be.
GY Mmedia: --Who
was your best favorite gymnast in all years since 1981?
Octavian Belu: Lavinia
Milosovici. She was always very chatty and open. We could work excellent
with her. She is now working in Deva as assistant coach.
--And who was your most troublesome gymnast in the years?
Octavian Belu: Gina
Gogean. She has a complicated psyche. It was not easy to approach her. I
have studied psychologie with her again it began from the start.
GY Mmedia: --Thank
you, Mr. Belu. Have a good rest at the Black Sea and wish your team success at worlds in
Report: Hans-Jürgen Zeume/
Translation: Norbert Kuhn (Rom.)
Kerry Bleasdale (Engl.)
Red.online: Eckhard Herholz)
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