Romanian gymnast Marian Dragulescu retires

Four-time world champion gymnast Marian Dragulescu of Romania is retiring because of health reasons and plans to become a trainer.

Four-time world champion gymnast Marian Dragulescu of Romania is retiring because of health reasons and plans to become a trainer.

One of the world's top vaulters, 28-year-old Dragulescu said Thursday he would retire after medical tests revealed he had chronic back problems. He said he would likely train young gymnasts for the Dinamo Bucharest club.

Dragulescu was bitterly upset when he failed to clinch a medal at the Beijing Olympics, saying "my soul broke" after he fell on the landing of his second vault attempt.

That came after a first vault attempt gave him the highest score of all finalists and set his sights on the gold.

While Dragulescu won four golds at the 2004 world championships, as well as a silver and two bronzes at the Athens Games in 2004, an Olympic gold eluded him during his career.

Although he competed in various events, Dragulescu was best known for the vault and even had one exercise — a handspring double front with half turn — named after him.