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Belak Celebrates Birthday With Success In Europeans Final
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Slovenian Olympian Teja Belak, who celebrated her 23rd birthday at the recent European Championships in Cluj-Napoca, told IG that her performance in Cluj encouraged her after her faulty finish at last summer's Olympic Games.

Teja Belak (Slovenia)

Slovenian Olympian Teja Belak, who celebrated her 23rd birthday by placing seventh on vault at the recent European Championships in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, told IG that her performance encouraged her after her faulty finish at last summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

"I'm very happy with the results," said Belak in the mixed zone following the vault final that took place on April 22, her 23rd birthday. "In Rio, I had such a problem with my leg, and so all the time I had problems. Now I'm good, so this keeps me going."

Belak, whom the Cluj audience serenaded by singing "Happy Birthday To You" after she completed her vaults, said she plans to improve for future competitions.

"These vaults aren't so good [to break into] the medals, so I need to push to score higher," said Belak of the handspring layout front full and Yurchenko 1 1/2 vaults she performed in Cluj.

Belak, whose results on vault include fourth place at the 2013 Europeans in Moscow, eighth at the 2015 Europeans in Montpellier and sixth at the 2016 Europeans in Bern, said she continues to enjoy the sport, despite its challenges.

"I'm tired all the time, but I like gymnastics, so this keeps me going," she said.

Read on-scene coverage of the 2017 European Championships in the May 2017 issue of International Gymnast magazine, and behind-the-scenes profiles in upcoming issues. To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions, click here.

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