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"Only beauty in gymnastic is not enough"

(Berlin-Hennigsdorf, 10-07-99) 

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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)

Octavian 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 Karo
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 bronzes
At European Championships:                           24 golds, 20 silvers, 15 bronzes

GY Mmedia: --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.

GY Mmedia: --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.

GY Mmedia: --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.

GY Mmedia: --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.

GY Mmedia: --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.

GY Mmedia: --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.)

GY Mmedia: --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 championship.

GY Mmedia: --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.

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Andrea Isarescu and Andrea Raducan (right)

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GY Mmedia: --What is your as a coach?

Octavian Belu:  "Never enough"

GY Mmedia: --Aren't you never satisfied?

Octavian Belu:  I am not satisfied yet. I don't know what that will be.

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Lavinia Milosovici

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.

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Gina Gogean

GY Mmedia: --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 Tianjin!

(For GY Mmedia:
Report:  Hans-Jürgen Zeume/
Translation:  Norbert Kuhn (Rom.)
Kerry Bleasdale (Engl.)
Red.online:  Eckhard Herholz)

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