- Title: ROMANIA: First national women's fix point parachute landing competition held
- Date: 26th May 2010
- Summary: PARTICIPANTS WALKING TO AIRPLANE VARIOUS OF AIRPLANE STARTING ENGINE AND TAKING OFF
- Embargoed: 10th June 2010 13:00
- Location: Romania
- Country: Romania
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAAICQUOMREPEGH93CX036BB1DM
- Story Text: Romania's first national women's fix point parachute landing competition took place in the village of Clinceni, approximately 20km east of the capital Bucharest, on Saturday (May 22).
Fifteen women competed for the title, one from each Romanian Aero Centre.
The trainer of the Romanian national women's parachuting team said it was the first time such a competition had been held in the country.
"This is a competition for women only and it takes place for the first time. We have mixed fix point landing competitions for men and women, but this one is for women only," said Simona Stan.
The contest was dedicated to pioneering Romanian parachutist Smaranda Braescu and named 'Smaranda Order' in honour of her.
Born in 1897, Braescu was the first female Romanian pilot and the first female Romanian parachutist. She became the world skydiving champion in Sacramento, California in 1932 with a jump from 7233 metres.
Braescu flew medical planes during World War II and received civil and military decorations for her work. After the war, she suffered for opposing the communist regime. It is believed she died in 1948.
Steliana Popa emerged as the winner of Saturday's competition in Clinceni. She said Braescu was a role model for the women parachutists of today.
"She demonstrated that women can do it and they can be even better than men. And she did all this in very difficult times. I'm happy that I won this trophy, although the girls did not have the opportunity to make too many jumps this year. I'm happy because it makes me stronger for the next competition, which is in Croatia," Popa said.
In all her jumps, Braescu wore a traditional Romanian blouse called 'Ie'. To pay tribute, a group of five women parachutists executed a group jump wearing the 'Ie' shirts. In the air, the women formed a circle symbolising the popular Romanian dance 'Hora'.
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