Shatilov into European Games floor final, targeting all-around next

Israeli gym nast Alex Shatilov progressed to the final of the floor exercise at the European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan, from second place overall.

Alex Shatilov  (photo credit: REUTERS)
Alex Shatilov
(photo credit: REUTERS)
After securing his place in the final of the floor exercise at the European Games, Alex Shatilov aims to book a berth in the all-around final in Baku, Azerbaijan on Monday.
Israel’s top gymnast advanced to Saturday’s floor final from second place overall after recording a result of 15.166 on Sunday.
He ended the first day of qualifying with an overall score of 41.999, good enough for 12th place. Shatilov had to settle for 12.733 points in the rings after making a mess of his landing and picked up 14.100 in the pommel horse.
Shatilov will compete in the vault, parallel bars and high bar on Monday, and will need to finish among the top 18 overall to advance to Thursday’s allaround final.
“I had a pretty good day overall,” said Shatilov. “I had a mediocre performance in the pommel horse and I did alright in the rings until I fell at the end. I hope I’ll have a chance to make amends for that in the allaround final. My floor exercise was pretty decent and good enough for today.”
Tzuf Feldon, 16, is ranked 36th after the first day of the women’s qualifiers, registering a result of 25.133 points overall. Feldon recorded 13.000 in the vault and 12.133 in the uneven bars. She will complete the qualifiers on Monday when she competes in the beam and floor exercise.
“I felt good and had a good competition,” said Feldon. “I have two more events to go and my goal is to reach a final, especially in the beam.”
Elsewhere Sunday, Amitai Yonah ended the triathlon competition in Baku in 35th place in a time of 1:54.25 hours.
Shachar Sagiv crossed the line in 37th place (1:55.18h).
Gordon Benson won the men’s triathlon, overcoming the sweltering heat to claim Great Britain’s first European Games gold medal and secure his qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Temperatures crossed 30 degrees Celsius but, after a tight swim and cycle, Benson eased ahead during the run and had time to canter across the finish at Baku’s Bilgah Beach holding a Union Jack flag in a time of one hour, 48 minutes, 31 seconds.
Portugal’s Joao Silva finished strongly and looked to be gaining on Benson but eventually finished 11 seconds adrift to win silver, while home favorite Rostyslav Pevtsov claimed bronze.
Brothers Alistair, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and 2009 and 2011 world champion, and Jonathan Brownlee, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and world champion, will also represent Great Britain in the triathlon at the Rio Olympics.
Reuters contributed to this report.