The French Gymnastic team took on the strong Rumanian team in a pre-Olympic match at Rouen on Saturday (3 April), and although they lost, they gave a fine performance against one of the world's leading teams.
GV French champion Nadine Audin doing floor exercises
GV Theodora Ungureanu of Rumania doing floor exercises
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Background: The French Gymnastic team took on the strong Rumanian team in a pre-Olympic match at Rouen on Saturday (3 April), and although they lost, they gave a fine performance against one of the world's leading teams.
In the last world championships the Rumanians came fourth but are now probably the second best in the world, preparing to threaten Russian domination of women's gymnastics at the Montreal Olympics.
The two great Rumanian hopes are Nadia Comaneci, who, at 14, is Rumania's top woman gymnast with a string of international championships and gold medals to her credit, and Theodora Ungureanu, aged 16, who is certainly among the top ten women gymnasts in the world.
It was Miss Ungureanu who won Saturday's competition in Rouen with a fine score of 9.70.
The French champion Nadine Audin came fourth with a score of 9.35. She was 20th in the European Championships last year, with a score of 8.70.
France is considered a second rank country in women's gymnastics, coming 14th in the world championships and 15th in the last Olympic games.
But they gave a surprisingly good performance at Rouen.
In March the Rumanians beat the United States in an Olympic qualifying round. The Rumanians had already qualified for the Olympics.
SYNOPSIS: The French Women's Gymnastic champion Nadine Audin at the pre-Olympic match between Rumania and France at Rouen on Saturday. With her floor exercises she was competing against some of the strongest women gymnasts in the world. The young Rumanian stars are preparing to threaten the dominance of the Russians in women's gymnastics at the Montreal Olympics.
France is a second ranked nation in women's gymnastics. The French team came fourteenth in the World Championships last year and fifteenth in the last Olympics. Nadine Audin came 20th in the 1975 European Championships. But on Saturday she excelled herself and gave a fine performance.
Miss Audin's floor exercises helped to win her fourth place with a score of 9.35 -- a very fine score for her. In the European championships her score was 8.70.
Theodora Unguru, aged 16, the Rumanian number two and one of Rumania's leading hopes for medals at this year's Olympics.
Miss Ungureanu gave a dazzling display on the floor and the vault at the World Cup Gymnastics competition last October in Great Britain. Then the Rumanians were ranked fourth in the world. Now they're probably second. In March, the Rumanian women, already qualified for the Olympics, soundly thrashed the United States.
At the World Cup Championships, Miss Ungureanu broke a clean Russian sweep by winning the silver medal in the women's floor sequence. And it was her floor sequence on Saturday that won her first prize and helped Rumania to victory over France. But before the Rumanians can be the best in the world they have first to beat the Russian champions Ludmilla Tourischeva and the legendary Olga Korbut.