London Spy

Gymnastics legend Comaneci backs Tweddle for gold

London Spy

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Nadia Comaneci in Montreal

Eurosport were granted an exclusive interview with five-time Olympic champion and gymnastics legend Nadia Comaneci, who is backing Great Britain's Beth Tweddle for gold in London.

At the age of just 14, Comaneci became a triple Olympic gold medallist at the Montreal Games of 1976.

To make her performances all the more remarkable, they included the first seven 'perfect 10' scores the sport had seen.

Reflecting on her incredible triumphs in Montreal, Comaneci said: "They were not prepared for history to be made and the scoreboard did not have a '10' available.

"It was all very crazy, and I did not even know that I had made history at the time. It was amazing.

"Some of the moves I performed were new and had not been seen before: the little things that people did not think were possible for a young kid to do."

Comaneci reveals what the key ingredients in her incredible success were, and what went through her mind during the performances.

"There are so many things going through your mind when you are doing your routine: your mind must be completely focused," she said.

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The perfect 10 shown as a 1.00

"People think it is harder when you are younger, but kids just compete without thinking about other things.

"I still have people come up to me and say 'I was here' or 'I was there' when I was winning the gold medals and that is amazing to hear the different stories."

Comaneci also looked ahead to the 2012 Olympics in London, predicting that Britain's Tweddle could take gold on home soil.

"Beth Tweddle should win gold and I hope she does," Comaneci said. "She is very good on bars, and that is supposed to be her best event.

"She needs to get a medal on the bars, but also on the floor if she is healthy and everything goes okay.

"As for the general results, USA and Russia will finish first and second with either China or Romania to take the bronze medal," she added.

"It is always the same four teams in the same positions, but in what order you never know.

"All round, the USA go for a very high difficulty level and will be very hard to beat."

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