(photo credit: Reuters)
Alex Shatilov came tantalizingly close to winning his second medal in two days at the European Artistic Gymnastic Championships in Moscow on Sunday, finishing fourth in the High Bar final.
The 26-year-old Israeli, who won the gold medal in the Floor exercise final on Saturday, improved his score from the High Bar qualifiers and recorded a result of 14.733 points on Sunday, just a tenth of a point shy of bronze medal winner Aliaksandr Tsarevich.
Despite the near miss, Shatilov was delighted with his performance in his first ever appearance in a High Bar final at continental level after choosing not to take part in the all-around event in Moscow.
Shatilov is set to return to the prestigious all-around competition in the future.
However, after excelling in the floor exercise since the start of his career, claiming a medal in the Europeans in 2009 (bronze), 2011 (silver), 2012 (bronze) and 2013 (gold), as well as two bronze medals at the World Championships (2009, 2011), Shatilov has now proven that he also has what it takes to compete with the best in the High Bar.
Shatilov will return to Israel to a hero’s welcome on Monday, with the Israeli Gymnastics Association to hold a reception in his honor at Kfar Maccabiah in Ramat Gan. The Olympic Committee of Israel will hand him a NIS 50,000 bonus for his gold medal at a later date.