This year’s top ten Balkan sportsmen and women includes seven Romanian nominees, all of whom won medals at the London Olympics. Romania’s two gold medalists, gymnast Sandra Izbaşa (in picture) and marksman Alin Moldoveanu are among the 2012 nominations, as is gymnast Cătălina Ponor, who this year added a silver and a bronze medal to her three golds from previous Olympics. Also nominated from Romania were Corina Căprioriu and Alina Dumitru, who both won silver in different weight categories in 2012 Olympic judo competition. Finally Romanian weightlifters Roxana Cocos and Răzvan Martin, who won a silver and a bronze in London this year, joined Romania’s other nominations.
There is some stiff competition from elsewhere in the Balkans, perhaps most notably from Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, who finished the year at number one in the ATP rankings and won the Australian Open and the ATP tour finals in London. Djokovic won three of the four grand slams in 2011 – Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. Also nominated were Olympic Taekwondo champion Milica Mandic from Serbia and Bosnian footballer Edin Dzeko, who plays with last season’s English Premier League Champions Manchester City.
The annual Balkan sports ranking, now in its 40th year is run by Bulgarian news agency BTA (Bulgarian Telegraph Agency). Sports federations from across the Balkans will now vote for the nominees to give the final top ten Balkan sports stars of 2012.
photo source: london2012.com