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SYNTETIC ANALISYS OF THE DINAMYCS OF ROMANIAN FEMALES ATHLETES BEST RESULTS BETWEEN THE YEARS 2004-2013

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The purpose of this study is to highlight the most notable records of Romanian female athletes in both major competitions and the presence among the world's best results ever. After analyzing these data we will see that in different periods of the Romanian female athletes history, there have been excellent results in different athletic events. We will observe that in certain periods Romanian female juniors promised important results to the senior future and formerly the Romanian female juniors did not score at all. We will try to offer an explanation of the dynamics of Romanian female athletic results for the most important categories of competition, not least to emphasize the importance given to certain events over time at certain ages. Will notice that in certain periods of history were dominant athletes aerobic samples in other anaerobic and those based on power and muscle strength and last but not least you will notice a correlation between senior and juniors results in the same time period.
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4th INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON PHYSICAL
EDUCATION, SPORT AND KINETOTHERAPY
(ICSPEK 2014)
SYNTETIC ANALISYS OF THE DINAMYCS OF ROMANIAN
FEMALES ATHLETES BEST RESULTS BETWEEN THE
YEARS 2004-2013
Zanca Raoul Ștefana, *, Zăgrean Eleonoraa
a ”Babeș-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca,1 Mihail Kogalniceanu street, Cluj-Napoca, 400084, Romania
* Corresponding address: 7 Calea Moldovei street, Bistrița, 420096, Romania, e-mail: zancaraoul@yahoo.com
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to highlight the most notable records of Romanian female athletes in both major competitions and
the presence among the world's best results ever. After analyzing these data we will see that in different periods of the
Romanian female athletes history, there have been excellent results in different athletic events. We will observe that in
certain periods Romanian female juniors promised important results to the senior future and formerly the Romanian female
juniors did not score at all.
We will try to offer an explanation of the dynamics of Romanian female athletic results for the most important categories of
competition, not least to emphasize the importance given to certain events over time at certain ages.
Will notice that in certain periods of history were dominant athletes aerobic samples in other anaerobic and those based on
power and muscle strength and last but not least you will notice a correlation between senior and juniors results in the same
time period.
Keywords: female athletes, records, dynamics, events
1. Introduction
In Romania, athletics sport appears at the end of the nineteenth century, an important role in spreading his
successor Romanian students studying in Western countries such as Germany, France and Austria by organizing
competitions during the holidays as running, jumping and throwing.
In 1882 it established the "Romanian Society running on foot", which disbands after 3 years. In 1912, within
the Romanian Federation of Sports Societies is established "Commission for athletics, running on foot and
competitions", that was a precursor to the Romanian Athletics Federation (F.R.A.), the 19th federation affiliated
to the International Association of Athletics Federations (I.A.A.F.) in 1923.
The first national championships of Romania is organized in 1914, at 16 samples and only for men. The first
female athletic competitions was organized in 1922 at Brasov and Cluj-Napoca, and the first participation of the
Romanian track and field delegation at the Olympics, was in Amsterdam 1928. In the same edition of O.G.
(Amsterdam), I.A.A.F. accepted the participation of women for the first time in five track and field events.
The Romanian delegation was made up of ten male athletes and two female athletes, I. Orendi and B. Jikeli.
The number of events in which Romanian athletes participated was 13, and the events attended by the two ladies,
as have been named in that period, were ”Running high jump” and ”Throwing the discus” (Netherlands Olympic
Committee, 1928).
International Congress on Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy 2014
The practice of physical education and sport is a fundamental right for all”. Sport and physical activity were
first specifically recognized as a human right in the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport,
adopted in 1978 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO, 1978).
In 2012, the Romanian Athletics Federation celebrated its centennial, remembering inter alia the most notable
successes of Romanian athletes over time. If we refer to the results obtained in the Olympics, FRA is proud of 35
medals (11 gold , 14 silver , 10 bronze). Iolanda Balas-Soter and Lia Manoliu-Raica were the first athletes who
managed to get the first medal for Romania at the Olympic Games in Rome, 1960. Starting that year , Romanian
track and field gained international reputation , winning 35 Olympic medals through 26 athletes. Notable is the
fact that 24 of the 26 athletes are women. So we can say without any mistake regarding track and field, for
Romania history was written so far, by 26 olympian women.
It should be noted that since 1960 to date, Romanian track and field won medals at every Olympic Games,
only two editions did not get any medal in 1980, Moscow and 2012, London.
Table 1. Romanian female athletes who won Olympic medals
1 Iolanda Balaş-Söter 1960-Rome, Italy High jump 1
1964-Tokyo, Japan High jump 1
2 Lia Manoliu-Raica 1960-Rome, Italy Disus throw 3
1964-Tokyo, Japan Disus throw 3
1968-Mexico City, Mexico Disus throw 1
3 Mihaela Peneş 1964-Tokyo, Japan Javelin throw 1
1968-Mexico City, Mexico Javelin throw 2
4 Viorica Belmega-Viscopoleanu 1968-Mexico City, Mexico Long jump 1
5 Ileana Gherghely-Silai 1968-Mexico City, Mexico 800m 2
6 Valeria Bufanu-Ştefănescu 1972-Munich,West Germany 100m hurdles 2
7 Argentina Menis 1972-Munich,West Germany Disus throw 2
8 Doina Beşliu-Melinte 1984-Los Angeles, USA 800m 1
1500m 2
9 Maricica Luca-Puică 1984-Los Angeles, USA 3000m 1
1500m 3
10 Anişoara Cuşmir-Stanciu 1984-Los Angeles, USA Long jump 1
11 Vali Ionescu-Constantin 1984-Los Angeles, USA Long jump 2
12 Mihaela Loghin 1984-Los Angeles, USA Shot put 2
13 Fiţa Rafîra Lovin 1984-Los Angeles, USA 800m 3
14 Cristieana Cojocaru-Matei 1984-Los Angeles, USA 400m hurdles 3
15 Florenţa Ionescu-Crăciunescu 1984-Los Angeles, USA Disus throw 3
16 Paula Ilie-Ivan 1988-Seoul, South Korea 1500m 1
1988-Seoul, South Korea 3000m 2
17 Galina Astafei-Stăvariu 1992-Barcelona, Spain High jump 2
18 Gabriela Szabo 1996-Atlanta, USA 1500m 2
2000-Sydney, Australia 1500m 3
2000-Sydney, Australia 5000m 1
19 Violeta Beclea-Szekely 2000-Sydney, Australia 1500m 2
20 Lidia Slăvuţeanu-Şimon 2000-Sydney, Australia Marathon 2
21 Oana Muşunoiu-Pantelimon 2000-Sydney, Australia High jump 3
22 Ionela Târlea Manolache 2004-Athens, Greece 400m hurdles 2
23 Maria Cioncan 2004-Athens, Greece 1500m 3
24 Constantina Diţă Tomescu 2008-Beijing, China Marathon 1
As we can see the distribution of medals in the category of track and field events is relatively balanced, the
most prolific Olympic Games being the 1984-Los Angeles, USA (10 medals) and the 2000-Sydney, Australia (5
medals).
Why are these data important for our study? Because as long as 97.22% of Olympic medals is provided by
romanian female athletes, we might conclude that the F.R.A.’s strategy was base on promoting and supporting
mainly the female athletes at high performance. This strategy seems to have been successful for 48 years, but
International Congress on Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy 2014
what will happen if this strategy at a time will not work at all? What happen if does not give anymore results for
already 10 years?
In 2008, marathoner Constantina Dita Tomescu won the gold medal in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
In the same year she is positioned in the ranking of the best marathon times of the year in 40th place with the
gold medal time of 2 hours 26 minutes 44 seconds. At 38 years old, she was the oldest Olympic marathon winner
of all time. It is obvious that the Romanian Athletic Federation does not forecast such a notable performance,
which makes us believe that the strategy of we were talking stopped working long before 2008.
When an athlete's performance capacity has suffered due to some unbalances caused by certain factors,
intervention undertaken to rehabilitate the situation requires a relatively shorter time, the chance of success is
greatly increased, instead when the performance capacity of the Olympic team or the National team or several
generations of athletes is contagiously affected and intervention performed systematically becomes ineffective, it
is likely than that sport system to be on the verge of collapse and they have to reinvent themselves.
Therefore our synthetic analysis reflect the dynamics of Romanian female athletes best results between the
years 2004-2013. In this case study we want to highlight the main aspects of strategic slippage of FRA, and how
the performance value reflects the results obtained in major competitions.
2. Research design
2.1. Hypotesis
The dynamics of Romanian female athletes best results between the years 2004-2013 for three competition
categories (senior, junior and youth) can provide some explanations why such a successful strategy of Romanian
Athletic Federation does not work anymore and if the performance value reflects the results obtained in major
competitions.
2.2. Methods
In our research we rely on case study method because it is the most suitable method for a complete and
in-depth investigation of our research topic, but also is limited in time over a period of 10 years between
2004-2013 (Flyvbjerg, 2011).
Our subjects are represented by Romania’s elite athletes enrolled in three competition categories (seniors
aged over 19 years, juniors aged between 17 and 19 years and youth aged between 15 and 17 years). Were
studied in our research performance of 178 athletes, including 135 athletes were active and present in the samples
rankings of the top 100 annual I.A.A.F.’s international results during the period 2004-2013.
Therefore, in our research, the independent variable is represented by the Romanian Athletics Federation
strategy, through which is particularly encouraged great performance of women athletes, and the dependent
variable is represented by the 135 athletes, which can be found through their sport activity during the 10 years
studied.
2.3. Results
Initially we extracted from the official I.A.A.F.’s database the Romanian athletes that are found in the Top
100 best results of all time. Then from the same database we extracted the Romanian athletes for three
competition categories (senior, junior and youth) which were ranked annually in the Top 100 best results for
each year since 2004 and ending 2013.
Comparing the list of Olympic medal winners with data base of I.A.A.F. we noticed that currently 20 of those
26 athletes are found in Top 100 of the best results of all time. Is not unimportant to specify that 19 of the 20
sports performance can be found in the first 60 places of the all time best results. Therefore a sports performance
that ensure an entry in top 60 best results of all time could propel an female athlete on the Olympic podium.
International Congress on Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy 2014
No.
crt.
Groups
Freque ncies
(S+J+Y)
Freque ncies
(S)
Freque ncies
(J)
Freque ncies
(Y)
Rel ative
Freque ncy
(S+J+Y)
Rel ative
Freque ncy
(S)
Rel ative
Freque ncy
(J)
Rel ative
Freque ncy
(Y)
Cu mulate d
Absol ute
Freque ncy
1 1-10 18 5 6 7 0,18 0,05 0,06 0,07 18
2 11-20 26 6 8 12 0,25 0,06 0,08 0,12 44
3 21-30 20 8 3 9 0,20 0,08 0,03 0,09 64
4 31-40 11 11 0 0 0,11 0,11 0,00 0,00 75
5 41-50 8 8 0 0 0,08 0,08 0,00 0,00 83
6 51-60 7 7 0 0 0,07 0,07 0,00 0,00 90
7 61-70 5 5 0 0 0,05 0,05 0,00 0,00 95
8 71-80 1 1 0 0 0,01 0,01 0,00 0,00 96
9 81-90 1 1 0 0 0,01 0,01 0,00 0,00 97
10 91-100 5 5 0 0 0,05 0,05 0,00 0,00 102
Total 102 57 17 28 1,00 0,56 0,17 0,27
No.
crt.
Groups
Frequencies
(S+J+Y)
Frequencies
(S)
Frequencies
(J)
Frequencies
(Y)
Relative
Frequency
(S+J+Y)
Relative
Frequency
(S)
Relative
Frequency
(J)
Relative
Frequency
(Y)
Cumulated
Absolute
Frequency
1 1-10 101 22 44 35 0,17 0,04 0,08 0,06 101
2 11-20 103 45 31 27 0,18 0,08 0,05 0,05 204
3 21-30 93 41 36 16 0,16 0,07 0,06 0,03 297
4 31-40 63 37 23 3 0,11 0,06 0,04 0,01 360
5 41-50 60 41 18 1 0,10 0,07 0,03 0,00 420
6 51-60 35 33 2 0 0,06 0,06 0,00 0,00 455
7 61-70 38 38 0 0 0,07 0,07 0,00 0,00 493
8 71-80 30 30 0 0 0,05 0,05 0,00 0,00 523
9 81-90 38 37 1 0 0,07 0,06 0,00 0,00 561
10 91-100 19 19 0 0 0,03 0,03 0,00 0,00 580
Total 580 324 155 82 1 0,59 0,27 0,14
Table 2. Frequency distribution for the 100 best performances of all time
In 10 years studied Romanian athletes appeared in Top 100 by a total of 580 times. Senior female athletes are
the most visible in the top best results with a percentage of appearances about 59%, then the juniors with 27%
and youth with 14%. On the other hand the most and best positioning in Top 10 belong to juniors with 44
entries, followed by youth with 35 entries and seniors with 22 entries.
Table 3. Frequency distribution for the 100 best annual performances in the period 2004-2013
Centralizing all the data from 2004-2013, we can see that the elite female athletes from Romania starting with
2004 until 2013 is present from becoming less, from year to year, however with a slight return from 2011.
Figure 1. The Romanian female athletes apparitions in Top 100 best resultes graphic, between 2003-2014
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As we observed except jumping events group, all other events are recorded into a downward slope apparitions
in the top best results. The most top result belong to jumping events and the fewest to sprinting events.
Another very interesting aspect is the decrease in average of 5% / year of appearance in the top best results of
the Romanian athletes, from 86 entries in 2004 to 47 entries in 2014.
Figure 2. The Romanian female athletes apparitions in Top 100 best
resultes graphic, between 2003-2014, gruped on athletic events categories
In a different context to approach the goal of our study, we extracted from F.R.A.’s Yearbook (2004-2013),
the number of women participants at the Romanian National Championships, in each sample track for all three
categories of competition (senior, junior, youth).
An interesting feature related to the number of participants is relatively constant value over the 10 years
studied, such as on average seniors being 102 person present, juniors 90 persons and youth 194 persons. Maybe
not seem relevant to extract the number of participant in the National Athletic Championships of Romania, but it
becomes interesting when we will compare similar data from countries such Hungary and Poland, which are
similar to Romania in terms of sports, geo-climatic and geopolitical. Romania’s population is 21,33 million
people, Hungary is 10 million people and Poland is 38,54 million people.
In 2013 at the National Championships Hungary submitted to the start of competition 117 female seniors, 145
juniors and 238 youth, while Poland presented 228 seniors, 394 juniors and 423 youth.
Figure 3. A comparision between Romania (an average 2004-2013), Hungary(2013) an Poland(2013)
on the number of female athletes participants at National Championship
International Congress on Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy 2014
Finally we would like to mention some aspects extracted from F.R.A.’s Statute coming either to reinforce
hypothesis of a strategy successfully applied for so long but currently is no longer effective or the inability of a
system that transcends F.R.A.’s boundaries and which can not find solutions to generate new directions in sports
development.
F.R.A. patronize athletic departments of all clubs and sports associations from Romania. Among its
objectives notice the following:
Organization, development, promotion and management of athletic activity in Romania;
Affiliation of all athletic departments of clubs and sports associations from Romania;
Support of Romania athletes and coaches, etc.
To achieve its goal, F.R.A. develops the following activities:
Elaborate strategy for Romanian athletes participation in official international competitions
(Olympics, World Championships, European Championships etc.).
Support the development of Olympic Centers;
Prepares the calendars and regulations of national competitions;
Form the national teams at all ages;
Advise and support in terms of methodological, technical, organizational and material the athletic
departments of clubs and sports associations and athletics county commissions.
At the end of 2012 were affiliated to F.R.A. a total of 171 clubs from which have won point at the National
Championship, records and official international competitions:
73 clubs in competitions for seniors
87 clubs in competitions for under 23
103 clubs in competitions for Junior
94 clubs in competitions for Youth
90 clubs in competitions for under 15
73 clubs in competitions for under 13
74 clubs in competitions for under 11
55 clubs in competitions for under 9
3. Conclusions and discussion
Therefore what conclusions can we draw about the dynamic of female athletics of Romania in the period
2004-2013? First of all must clearly distinguish the two periods of the relatively recent history of athletics from
Romania: the glorious period up to the end of 2004 and the 10 years that followed afterwards. These 10 years can
be characterized as some in which Romanian athletics, unwanted practically, was broken by the former identity
in a way like trying too hard to reinvent itself.
Value of a nation in the world of sport is reflected primarily by successes in major competitions, especially
the Olympics. Romania has won this prestige through the 24 Olympic medalists, 15 Olympic records, 37 world
records, but also by maintaining the level of performance at the highest level for 48 years. Certainly there are
voices and opinions that say they must have been even better in that period and of course there is always room
for improvement.
Analyzing presence of Romanian athletes among the best performance of all time, it is observed that 56% of
102 presences are assigned by seniors, 17% by juniors and 27% by youth. Studying the distribution of frequency
we observed than more than half of the presences are found in the first 30 places, 83 of them being found in the
top 50 positions. Frequency distribution between the three competition categories are broadly balanced, with a
slight advantage for youth towards juniors. It does not say anything but the athletes performance level is high, but
in reality most performance from seniors and mostly from juniors are made before 2004.
Athletes from Romania during 2004-2013 were found in total of 580 entries in the Top 100 best annual
performances, 59% belonging to seniors, 27% to juniors and 14% to youth. According to data collected during
this period of 10 years, over 50% of performances are found in the first 30 places, but this time the largest share
International Congress on Physical Education, Sport and Kinetotherapy 2014
is junior results, then the youth and the seniors. This is explained by the fact that senior level in that period were
active in most of seniors whose sport life ended in this period or is about to conclude. This explanation is
supported and reinforced by Fig. 1. and Fig. 2. where is observed that the presence of Romanian athletes in these
rankings drops 45,53% from 2004 to 2013. Regarding juniors and youth, this generation was formed soon after
2004, being exceptional, but very few of them have confirmed at the higher categories.
In Fig. 2. we can observe a regrouping of data by category of athletic events and their evolution in 10 years.
Jumping events group is the only one that demonstrates that it is relatively constant both as performance and the
supply of new talent. This affirmation we can generalize to the entire history of Romanian women’s athletics,
but nevertheless have not succeeded an Olympic medal for 14 years. Unfortunately the Romanian semi-fond and
fond events that has brought us so much satisfaction in the years 80’and 90’ appears to not longer rediscover.
Concluding thus far is evident the internationally decline of Romanian athletics, but the authors believe that
the real danger in the present is the decline uncontrollable of the national athletics. When we say this things that
it is hard to imagine a very rich infrastructure (171 athletic clubs) of athletics in Romania fails to gather at a
National Championship more athletes than does neighboring Hungary, a country with a population twice as
small.
The question is how this rupture occurred so suddenly (sometime around 2004) that could not be foreseen and
controlled, or may have been provided but could not be controlled?
F.R.A. had actually a strategy related to performance in women or based on discipline and tremendous work
capacity of women, and first at all on the inertia of a communist sport system that has worked somehow until
sometime around 2004, of course seasoned with opportunities offered by Western countries?
Reiterating an idea previously released, it seems that not only F.R.A. was surprised by the lack of a
reassessment of strategy in the current economic and social context, but the entire sport system. Unfortunately
strategic blockage, in our opinion, is at central level and propagated to all sports infrastructure pyramid.
Finally we can say that the meaning and relevance of our study case data can be derived from the various
contexts in which they were generated (Fred, C., John, T., 2010), some of which can be extracted from the above,
others which can be extracted from untreated contexts in the present study, such as lack of a medium and long
term national strategy for developing performance sports in Romania in 2014.
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Case Study, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Researc, 4 th Edition
  • B Flyvbjerg
Flyvbjerg, B. (2011). Case Study, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Researc, 4 th Edition, Sage, 2011, p. 301-316
Sport-for-Development Impact Study
  • C Fred
  • T John
Fred C., John T. (2010). Sport-for-Development Impact Study, Department of Sports Studies, University of Stirling, October 2010, www.uksport.gov.uk/docLib/MISC/FredCoaltersseminalMandEManual.pdf.
Reflectii la final de an, ce asteptam de la 2010?
  • N Marasescu
Marasescu, N. (2009). Reflectii la final de an, ce asteptam de la 2010?, Atletismul Romanesc, Anul XIV-Nr. 4/56/ Decemrie 2009, p. 8-9
Reprezentantii tarii noastre, in criza de destin…, Atletismul Romanesc, Anul XIII -Nr. 1/49 / Martie
  • T Stama
Stama, T. (2008). Campionatele Mondiale de sala, a XII-a editie, Valencia 2008. Reprezentantii tarii noastre, in criza de destin…, Atletismul Romanesc, Anul XIII -Nr. 1/49 / Martie 2008, p. 4-6
International Charter of Physical Education and Sport. Records of the General Conferences
UNESCO, (1978). International Charter of Physical Education and Sport. Records of the General Conferences, 20 th Session, Paris, 24 october-28 november 1978, Volume I, Resolutions, p. 32-34