(photo credit: REUTERS)
Alex Shatilov extended his sensational medal streak at the Artistic Gymnastics European Championships on Sunday afternoon, scaling the podium for a fifth straight time after finishing in third place in the floor final in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Shatilov, who claimed the gold medal in the floor exercise last year, registered a score of 15.400 points, identical to that of Daniel Purvis of Great Britain. The Israeli and the Brit were both given the bronze behind winner Denis Abliazin of Russia and Greece’s Eleftherios Kosmidis.
The 27-year-old Shatilov, who reached the floor final in the past two Olympic Games, also won a silver medal in the event in 2011 and bronzes in 2012 and 2009, with the Israeli gymnast missing the 2010 edition through injury.
“The final was really difficult as most of the gymnasts didn’t make any big mistakes,” he said. “I will continue to work hard in order to increase my execution level and I’m optimistic I will be able to achieve that.
“My preparations for these championships weren’t that straightforward as I was sidelined and couldn’t jump for a while because of the injuries to my elbow and ankle. I did what I could ahead of these championships and I’m happy I took a medal.”
Shatilov will now set his sights on October’s World Championships in Nanning, China. He took a bronze medal in the floor final at the worlds in 2009 and 2011 and believes he can finish on the podium yet again this year.
“I will increase my execution level and will be strong and ready for the World Championships,” added Shatilov. “I know it is going to be a lot tougher there.”
Also Sunday, Israeli Andrey Medvedev ended the vault final in sixth place with a score of 14.733 points. Eyal Glazer, 17, claimed a bronze medal in the junior rings final with a score of 13.966.