Absent from Antwerp: Shatilov Shifts Focus to New Success in 2014
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2013 European floor exercise co-champion Alexander Shatilov of Israel told IG this week he has recovered from the ankle injury that kept him out of last month's world championships in Antwerp, and he has set high goals for next year.

Alexander Shatilov (Israel)

Shatilov, a native of Uzbekistan, said he injured his ankle before the world championships at the Grand Prix of Szombathely, held Sept. 7-8 in Hungary.

"Fortunately the injury wasn't serious, and now I feel excellent and am training as usual," he said. "We decided to finish the 2013 season and quietly prepare for 2014. I would like to perform well at the European championships and of course at the world championships."

Shatilov won the bronze medal on floor exercise at the 2009 Worlds in London, and tied Brazil's Diego Hypolito for the bronze on floor exercise at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo. He placed sixth on floor exercise and 12th all-around at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

This spring Shatilov tied Great Britain's Max Whitlock for gold on floor exercise at the Europeans in Moscow, becoming Israel's first senior European champion in gymnastics.

Of Antwerp, Shatilov said he was impressed by the standard of performances from his rivals including German veteran Fabian Hambüchen, four-time world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura of Japan, and newworld floor exercise champion Kenzo Shirai, 17, of Japan.

"I watched the whole competition," Shatilov said. "I really enjoyed the level of men's gymnastics, and seeing that there is always progress. I was really happy for Fabian Hambüchen that at the end he took the bronze medal in the all-around. Of course, Uchimura is a unique gymnast and he proved this! Kenzo Shirai surprised, not only with his combinations that he performed, but his ability to cope with the excitement of his first world championships and win gold."

Despite missing Antwerp, Shatilov said he should be able to challenge his longtime and recent rivals in future events.

"There are many competitors, and all are good gymnasts," he told IG. "But most of all, I need to be 100 percent prepared."

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
"Aiming High" - Alexander Shatilov profile (January/February 2009)
"Tumbling for the Team" - Diego Hypolito profile (March 2007)
Kohei Uchimura cover photo, 2013 World Championships special issue (November 2013)
2012 Olympic Games special issue (September 2012)
"10 Questions with Kohei Uchimura" - interview (April 2012)
"Lord Max" – Max Whitlock interview (June 2013)

The November 2013 issue of IG Magazine, which includes in-depth coverage of the 2013 World Championships, is available now in print and digital format! To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

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