Israel's medal hopes slashed as Shatilov comes 6th

Alex Shatilov's midway mistake in gymnastics floor final costs dearly; windsurfer Korzits' medal hopes still alive.

Alex Shatilov 370 (photo credit: Reuters)
Alex Shatilov 370
(photo credit: Reuters)
LONDON – Israel’s hopes of winning a medal at the London Olympics suffered a significant setback on Sunday after Alex Shatilov could only manage sixth position in the gymnastics floor final, while Lee Korzits remained in second place in the women’s windsurfing competition, but lost ground to the chasing pack.
With two medals to his name from the World Championships and three podium finishes in the Europeans, Shatilov entered Sunday’s floor final fully expecting to claim a medal.
However, a small, yet significant, mistake midway through his performance cost him dearly and he recorded a result of 15.333 points, finishing in a very respectable sixth position, but still utterly dejected at missing out on a medal.
“This wasn’t the performance I was expecting from myself,” said Shatilov, who recorded scores of 15.633 and 15.600 on the floor in the all-around qualification and final in London.
“I started off well, but made a needless mistake midway through and that was enough to relegate me to sixth place. I went for everything. Clearly I’m disappointed.”
Shatilov was the fifth of eight gymnasts to perform in the final and knew by the time his turn came that he would require near perfection to win a medal after the three first contestants recorded results of 15.800 or higher, with eventual gold medal winner, Kai Zou of China, registering a superb 15.933.
Japan’s Kohei Uchimura won the silver, with Russia’s Denis Ablyazin taking a bronze.
“Obviously I was under a lot of pressure, but there is pressure at every competition and I didn’t feel any added burden here. I can only blame myself for the mistake.”
Korzits was hoping to already wrap up a top-three finish in Weymouth on Sunday, with Tuesday’s medal race still to come.
However, the 28-year-old reigning world champion experienced her worse day of competition on Sunday, ending Race 9 and 10 in ninth and 11th place, respectively.
Korzits remained in second place overall, but Finland’s Tuuli Petaja in third moved tied on 38 points with the Israeli, with Germany’s Moana Delle just a further point back and Poland’s Zofia Noceti-Klepacka in fifth only trailing Lee by three points.
Even Great Britain’s Bryony Shaw, in seventh place overall, will feel she has a chance at a medal on Tuesday being only 11 points behind Korzits, who trails leader Marina Alabau by 14 points.
Only the top 10 will compete in Tuesday’s medal race, with points being doubled, meaning first place gets two, second gets four, etc.
The windsurfer with the lowest point total overall will win the competition.
A win on Tuesday will guarantee Korzits at least a silver medal, and possibly give her the gold should Alabau finish in eighth or lower. Second place in the medal race will ensure the Israeli at least takes the bronze.
However, a third place finish or lower will mean Korzits will depend on where her nearest rivals end.
“I’m pleased,” said Korzits, despite her mediocre day. “There were tough conditions and a single mistake in the first race cost me dearly. To go into the medal race from second position is excellent and the competition is wide open, including for the gold medal.”
Shahar Zubari’s bitterly disappointing event ended on a sweet note on Sunday after he won the 10th race of the men’s windsurfing after finishing the ninth in 26th.
The bronze medalist from the 2008 Beijing Games ended the competition in 19th place overall and at no stage came near to challenging for a medal as he was expected to.
“I had a very disappointing competition,” Zubari said. “This competition doesn’t represent my true ability and it is a shame that this happened to me on the biggest stage. I did everything I could and I have no regrets.”
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Gil Cohen and Vered Bouskila are placed in 10th place overall in the women’s 470 Class sailing competition after ending Sunday’s races in fourth and 14th place.
Cohen and Bouskila will have a chance to think things over on Monday’s rest day, while the men’s 470 Class team of Gidi Kliger and Eran Sela return to action, ranked 14th after six races.
Also Sunday, Anastasia Gloushkov and Inna Yoffe recorded a score of 83.400 in the technical routine of the women’s synchronized swimming duets qualification to place in 17th position overall.
The two will perform their free routine on Monday with no realistic hope of moving into the top 12 and advancing into Tuesday’s final.