Shatilov 'Almost 100%' as Worlds Approach
(8 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

Recovering from a knee injury he sustained this spring, 2009 world floor exercise bronze medalist Alexander Shatilov of Israel told IG he hopes to compete at full strength in the all-around at next month's world championships in Rotterdam.

Alexander Shatilov (Israel)

"My leg is almost 100 percent healed, but there is still a month to go," said Shatilov, who injured his meniscus at the Paris World Cup in April. "So I think that, at the world championships, my leg and I will both be at 100 percent!"

Shatilov, the first Israeli gymnast to win a medal in world championships competition, said he continues to refine his floor routine with the help of visiting acrobatics coach Valentin Potapenko. Potapenko, a former Soviet team coach who lives in France, has worked with Shatilov several times since 2007.

"I haven't learned new elements, but above all we've worked on good technique," said Shatilov of his latest training program with Potapenko.

In Rotterdam, Shatilov said he is optimistic about his chances not only on floor exercise, but in the all-around, too.

"I would really like to perform well, and if I make the all-around final, I will already be satisfied," he said. "But if I make the top 10, this will be an excellent result."

Shatilov said he is also optimistic of the Israeli gymnastics team's prospects in Rotterdam, which will serve as the first step toward qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The top 24 teams in Rotterdam will advance to the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo.

"I think we have every chance to make it into the top 24 teams," Shatilov said.

Scheduled to join Shatilov on the Israeli team in Rotterdam are Noam Shaham, Pavel Gofman, Alexander Khamudis, Eduard Gholub, Felix Aronovich and Andrei Medvedev.

Shatilov made his return to competition Aug. 28, winning the Israeli Open Championships in Tel Aviv. He took fourth on both floor exercise and pommel horse Sept. 12 at the Ghent World Cup, and last weekend placed third all-around at the Vitaly Scherbo Cup in Minsk.

Shatilov said he and his teammates are now focused on training until worlds, which will begin Oct. 16.

"We already performed in the preparation competitions leading up to the world championships," Shatilov told IG. "Now we are preparing at home for them."

Read "Aiming High," a profile on Shatilov, in the January/February issue of International Gymnast magazine. To order back issues, click here.

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