Romanian Sabina Cojocar Earns Goodwill Games All-Around Gold
posted on 09/02/2001

U.S. Gymnasts Patterson and White Earn Seventh and Ninth

Brisbane, Australia- Romanian Sabina Cojocar, the 2000 Junior European Champion, earned the 2001 Goodwill Games all-around gold medal tonight with a score of 36.854. Winning the silver and bronze medals were Russian Olympic Gold Medalists Svetlana Khorkina with 36.617 and Elena Zamolodchikova with 36.312.


"Today was good for Sabina because there were no mistakes," said Octavian Belu, Cojocar's coach. "I congratulated her, but told her that we must forget this result because there will be another Svetlana and Elena in two months at the World Championships."

Competition was intense and came down to the final routines. Khorkina lead after the first rotation after a stunning bar routine that earned a 9.737, the highest mark of the evening on all events. Zamolodchikova took the lead after the second rotation, but a fall on beam pushed her into third. Cojocar was on top going into the third and final rotations and an impressive floor routine clenched the title for her. American Carly Patterson (Baton Rouge, La.) entered the final rotation in second place, but falls on floor knocked her into seventh.

"I really wanted a medal bad," said a disappointed Patterson. "The floor was a little hard but that didn't really bother me. I don't know what happened. I can't give up, I will keep going. I was happy with my first three rotations, especially beam."

"Basically she was right there," said Yevgeny Marchenko, Patterson's coach. "There was a lot of pressure. It was a tough competition. Most importantly, she learned a lesson from the performance and that's why we're here."

Kaitlin White
(Allen, Texas) placed ninth with a score of 33.218. Her top score was 9.156, earned on vault with two solid runs.

"Overall, this was a good experience for me to compete against the best in the world," said White. "It's good to see how they handle everything and hopefully I'll learn from that and learn from my mistakes. I'll do better next time."

"It was a good performance for Kaitlin," said Marchenko. "She showed she could compete against the world's best gymnasts and that's important to take home."

Patterson earned the highest beam score of the evening with a very solid routine that scored 9.562. Khorkina earned two of the night's top performances with a 9.568 vault average and the 9.737 on bars. Zamolodchikova, 2000 Olympic Games floor gold medalist, placed highest on floor with 9.225.