Dragulescu doesn’t miss a beat following recent heart procedure
DOHA: Winner of eight world titles, 37-year-old Romanian gymnast Marian Dragulescu recently conquered his most daunting challenge -- on the operating table, not the usual vaulting table.
Dragulescu, who underwent a successful cardiac ablation procedure in May to reduce his abnormally fast heart rate, has not missed a beat in his speedy return to top form.
“They removed some electric points which trigger the heart to beat more than regular,” Dragulescu told www.worldgymdoha18.com after Sunday’s podium training, in preparation for the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships that will begin October 25.
“I had one month of recovery and since then it’s like before. I have no problems. My stamina is the same as always.”
Dragulescu’s sense of humour is intact, as well.
“Now I have harder problems, like with both of my Achilles tendons, my knees, my hand, my back, everything,” he joked.
Dragulescu said he is flattered and often amazed by younger gymnasts who successfully perform his namesake vault, “The Dragulescu,” which consists of a handspring onto the vaulting table followed by a double front somersault with a half twist.
He plans to perform his signature skill as part of his quest to win another world vault medal.
“I’ve seen a lot of gymnasts do it very well, and sometimes it’s hard for me to do this vault,” he said. “I’m getting old and some of the gymnasts do it better than I do, but you cannot stop age.”
The self-effacing Dragulescu said that, despite his seniority among his vault rivals, he still sometimes manages to perform the vault better than they do.
“If I catch a full moon, and the universe, stars and the planets align, I can,” he said.