Although a knee injury kept him out of the recent world championships in Antwerp, Chilean Olympic finalist Tomás González told IG he is recovering well and preparing for two major upcoming championships in his hometown of Santiago.
Tomás González (Chile)
In August, González withdrew from the 2013 Pan American Event Championships in Puerto Rico. He was doing his first training session in San Juan when he began to feel discomfort in his left knee. With the world championships on the horizon — and a history of joint pain in that knee — González decided to return home immediately to undergo tests.
González, who placed fourth on both floor exercise and vault at the 2012 Olympics, said the diagnosis with distal patellar tendinosis, He decided not to push himself to compete in the 2013 Worlds, held Sept. 30-Oct. 6 in Antwerp.
"I'm still not 100 percent on floor and vault but I still have a little more to do to bring back all my difficulty," he told IG. "I should be 100 percent and am aiming for the South American Games in March of next year here in Santiago, Chile."
Santiago will play host to two upcoming events: the 2013 South American Gymnastics Championships, Dec. 5-8, and the 10th South American Games, March 7-14, 2014. The 10th South American Games is expected to include thousands of athletes from 14 nations competing in 31 sports. González, who with four medals was one of the most successful Chilean athletes at the 9th South American Games in Medellín, may be given the honor of carrying the nation's flag during the opening ceremonies.
In October, González was part of the "Red" team that claimed victory over the "Blue" team at the 3rd International of Schiltigheim in France. The competition had gymnasts competing head-to-head on the same events. Although he had a band around his left knee, González looked relatively strong on floor, tumbling a 1 1/2 to immediate double front to stag jump mount and a whip, triple twist dismount (click for video).
"For me it was a very motivating tournament since I was part of a team of very good gymnasts," he said. "I really like this competition format and hope the audience does, too."
González, who turns 28 on Nov. 22, said he was impressed at the increased difficulty on display in Antwerp, including the performance of Japanese phenom Kenzo Shirai.
"I think it was the typical 'post-Olympic' worlds showing a higher level, and I think the new floor model will mark a breakthrough in the difficulty of the routines," González said. "That can be reflected in the routine of Kenzo Shirai, currently the gymnast with the highest difficulty level. It will be very difficult for all floor specialists to compete against his level and execution!"
The November 2013 issue of International Gymnast magazine features in-depth coverage of the 2013 world championships and is available now in both print and digital format! To order back issues or subscribe, click here!