Romanian Achievements and Records: Part 12

81. Romanian long-distance runner Constantina Diţă Tomescu is the oldest Olympic marathon champion in history. (sources 1, 2, 3)

She holds this record since the 2008 Summer Olympics when she won the women’s marathon in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 44 seconds. At 38 years of age, she became the oldest Olympic marathon champion in history. Previously the oldest man to win an Olympic marathon was aged 37 and the oldest woman was aged 30.

Reuters praised her in an article which claimed: “Tomescu improving with age like fine wine“.

Constantina Diţă

82. Romanian alpinist Crina Coco Popescu is world’s first female climber to complete the Seven Volcanoes circuit. (sources 1, 2)

The Volcanic Seven Summits are the highest volcanoes on each of the seven continents, just as theSeven Summits are the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Summiting all of the Volcanic Seven is regarded as a mountaineering challenge, first postulated as such in 1999. She achieved this feat at the age of 16.

Crina Coco Popescu

The Volcanic Seven Summits on an Elevation World Map.

83. Romanian gymnastics coach Mariana Bitang is the most successful woman coach in the world. (source 1, 2)

At the time when the World Record Academy, the leading international organization which certifies world records, registered this record, she had 19 Olympics Medals and a total of 152 medals at World, European Championships and Olympic Games. She was 46 and had only 13 years of activity behind her at the time. More medals have been added to her proven track record.

Mariana Bitang

84. Romanian gymnastics coach Octavian Bellu is the most successful coach in the world (overall). (sources 1, 2)

This title was awarded by World Record Academy for his 16 Olympics Gold Medals and a total of 279* (*updated to 305) medals at World and European Championships and Olympic Games.

He led the Romanian gymnastics team to five world and two Olympic titles, as well as coaching numerous individual gold medalists – since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union, Romania has been the most successful women’s gymnastics power. Octavian Bellu coached such accomplished gymnasts as Lavinia Milosovici, Andreea Raducan, Simona Amanar and Catalina Ponor.

As of 2013, he has achieved a total of 481 medals at the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cups and European Championships, from which 204 are gold medals (34 at the Olympics – we have counted one for every gymnast regarding the team competitions). He has coached 62 medal-winning gymnasts.

Octavian Bellu

85. Octavian Bellu and Mariana Bitang form the most successful coaching duo ever. (source) Yes, even more succesful than Béla and Márta Károlyi, also Romanian coaches (of Hungarian ethnicity) who have trained gymnasts such as Nadia Comăneci, Svetlana Boginskaya, Mary Lou Retton, Teodora Ungureanu, Kristie Phillips and Dominique Moceanu.

A popular saying around the community of Romanian gymnastics fans (one of the largest being in the USA) is that the Romanian Anthem was played so many times at competitions that  “The American women’s gymnastics team knows all the words by now”.

  • World Record Academy:
Octavian Bellu has coached the Romanian national squad since 1981. Maria Bitang joined him in early 90’s. Along with the team they have obtained more than 250 international medals.
The outstanding results Maria Bitang and Octavian Belu achieved made them the world’s most successful coaching duo

So, because there’s no need to re-write their achievements, let’s enjoy together a montage of the Romanian gymnasts! 😀

Mariana Bitang happily embracing Octavian Bellu