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Cioncan, Athens bronze winner, dies in car accident

1/21/2007

BUCHAREST, Romania -- Maria Cioncan, who won a 1,500-meter
bronze medal for Romania at the Athens Olympics, died Sunday in a
car accident in Bulgaria while returning from a training camp in
Greece, sports officials said. She was 29.

Cioncan died near the northern town of Pleven. The car she was
driving skidded and crashed into a tree, said her coach, Stefan
Beregszaszy.

"We've lost an extraordinary girl," Gabriela Szabo, deputy
president of the Romanian Athletics Federation and an Olympic gold
medalist runner in 2000, said on the Web site of the Prosport
newspaper.