News01 Mar 2001

Szabo leads Romanian squad for Lisbon


Women's 5000m Olympic champion Gabriela Szabo (© © Allsport)

Olympic 5000 metres champion Gabriela Szabo, who recently set a 3000 metres indoor world record, leads a 13-member Romanian team for next week's world indoor championships in Lisbon.

Romanian Athletics Federation president Iolanda Balas said on Wednesday that Szabo was scheduled to run both the 1500 and 3000 metres but would make her final decision in Lisbon.

Violeta Beclea-Szekely, the Olympic 1500 metres silver medallist, plans to compete again in her favourite event, raising the prospect of a great race if Szabo also runs.

"Romania hope to win three to four medals, one of them a gold," Balas said. "As usual the women's team is stronger than the men's."

Sprinter Ionela Tirlea, 1998 world indoor champion in Maebashi Japan, will race the 200 metres, her strongest event.

High jumper Monica Dinescu, the 1998 European champion, will also be aiming for a medal.

Young triple jumper Ionut Punga, 1998 junior world champion, is expected to join the senior men's competition.