Gymnastics: Shatilov comes up short at World Championships in China

Shatilov qualified for the All-Around final which will take place on Thursday.

Alex Shatilov  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Alex Shatilov
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the first time since 2005, Alex Shatilov failed to qualify for the final of the floor exercise at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships on Saturday, ending the qualifiers in 18th place in Nanning, China.
The 27-year-old Israeli missed last year’s global championships due to injury, but in his previous five appearances in the event, dating back to 2006, he reached the floor final each and every time, winning a bronze medal in 2009 and 2011.
Shatilov registered a reasonable score of 15.300 points on Friday, a result which had previously almost always been good enough to qualify for major finals. However, it was only sufficient for a disappointing 18th place in Nanning, with a score of 15.433 required to finish in the top eight and reach the final.
Earlier this year, Shatilov extended his sensational medal streak at the European Championships, scaling the podium for a fifth straight time after finishing in third place in the floor final in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Shatilov, who took the bronze with a score of 15.400 points, also reached the floor final in the past two Olympic Games, but had said he would increase his execution level for the World Championships, recognizing that his rivals have been making continuous progress.
However, despite his best efforts, he came up short in his favorite apparatus on Friday.
Shatilov can at least console himself in the knowledge that he qualified for the All-Around final from 24th place overall with a score of 86.123 points. The All- Around final will take place on Thursday. Shatilov ended the All- Around final at the London Olympics in 12th place.
The Israeli delegation was hoping to qualify for the men’s team final for the first time in Nanning, but it eventually finished in 30th place overall out of 48 teams with a score of 323.702.
Besides Shatilov, the Israel team included Eyal Glazer, Andrey Medvedev, Yair Shechter, Michael Sorokine and Moran Yanuka.
The Israel team was aiming to finish among the top 24 and reach the final, which would have secured its place at next year’s World Championships and awarded the blue-and-white an opportunity to qualify for the team event at the Rio Olympics.