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January 25, 2006
Gymnastic Marian Dragulescu and fencer Mihai Covaliu, joint Sortsmen of the Year 2005

Marian Dragulescu and Mihai Covaliu (photo by Rompres Agency)

Gymnast Marian Dragulescu and fencer Mihai Covaliu were jointly
honoured by the Romanian Sporting Press at a Sorts Gala hosted
by the National Sports Agency and the Romanian Olympic Sports
Committee. The award, with a history harking back to 1933, was
presented at the gathering which included many Olympic, world
and European champions, Romanian sporting personalities and
journalists from all sectors of the media. Marian Dragulescu is the
world champion vaulter and holds the European floor title.
Fencer Mihai Covaliu possesses the world championship title and
was part of the successful team that took out Bronze at the European
Both Dragulescu and Covaliu are registered with
Dinamo Bucarest. Romania's handball team, world champion
runners-up in St Petersburg, won the women’s section.

Team winners in the Olympic category were the women's rowing
8+1 – world champion runners-up. They were followed by the
men's kayak K2 1000m
team of Ionut Anghel and Marian Sevici,
world champion runners-up; the European champion water polo
men's team, who came 6th at the world championships in Montreal;
and men’s basketball team CSU Asesoft Ploiesti, winners of the
FIBA Europe Cup.

“First lady” of the Romanian track and field, Ms Iolanda Balas,
Olympic champion and former world champion, editor of the
Athletic Revue (Photo: Rompres Agency)

Non-Olympic team laureates were the world champion women's
bowling team; women's semi-marathon running team who were
runners-up at the worlds; world champions and gold winners
men's rowing C4 500m; the aerobic gymnastics team who took
away 4 gold and 2 bronze medals at the European Championships.
The individual Olympic winners were loan Suciu (gymnastics -
silver in pommel horse, world championships), Sebastian Dogariu
(weightlifting - silver and bronze at the world and European
championships), Marian Oprea (athletics - bronze in triple jump
at world championships), Alin Jivan (bronze in vault, world
championship), Eusebiu Diaconu (World bronze in wrestling),
Constantin Dita-Tomescu (running - team gold in semi-marathon
at world championships and world bronze in marathon, singles),
Catalina Ponor (world bronze medal and European bronze in beam),
Alina Dumitru (judo - European bronze medal), Marioara Munteanu
(European gold in weightlifting), Mihaela Steff-Merutiu (European
team gold, European silver doubles and European silver in single
table tennis), Elena Iagar (running - European gold 1500m)

Non-Olympic single events awards were presented to Mihaela
Cijevschi (world champion boxing) and Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu
(European chess champion). Awards for "Best Sports Structure"
were presented to the Romanian Gymnastics Association for the
most numerous number of world medals in Olympic sports and
to the Romanian Fencing and Handball Associations. Dinamo SC
was named Romania's club of the year for the eighth year in
succession, followed by Steaua SC, and Orsova - based "Tra- ian
Lalescu" General Education High School won the title of under-16
club of year 2005.

"Best Coaches" awards were presented to Constantin Tomescu
(athletics), Dan Grecu (gymnastics), Gheorghe Tadici and
Dumitru Musi (handball), Daniel Stoian (kayak), Vlad Hagiu
(water polo) and Emilian Nuta (fencing).

The Romanian Olympic Sports Committee gave the Fair Play
Award to Dinamo Bucharest football team for their solidarity
gesture with player Mariko Daouda.
Florentin Petre, Dinamo's
skipper, was presented with the award. It was a double
celebration for the skipper who was regailed with “Happy Birthday”
by the show's host Horia Brenciu.Petre celebrated his 30th birthday.
Iolanda Balas-Soter, a multiple Olympic and European champion,
winner of 14 world champion titles, former President of the
Romanian Athletics Association, and now editor of the Athletic
Revue, long standing member of our Association, was handed a
lifetime achievement award.

Adrian Luca
Nine O'Clock Bucharest

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