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Medvedev Vaults Toward Medal Shot in Sofia
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Israel's Andrey Medvedev told IG that his performances on vault at last month's World Challenger Cup meets in Ljubljana and Osijek give him confidence in his medal prospect for the upcoming European Championships in Sofia.

Israel's Andrey Medvedev told IG that his performances on vault at last month's World Challenger Cup meets in Ljubljana and Osijek give him confidence in his medal prospect for the upcoming European Championships in Sofia.

"These two World Cups showed me that the difficulty and execution of my vaults are sufficient to make the final in Sofia and fight for a medal," he said.

Medvedev, who won the silver medal on vault in Ljubljana on April 20, finished 10th on vault in Osijek after an error on his second vault in the qualifications on April 25. Despite the mistake, he said his recent vaults indicate his potential.


Medvedev with his vault medal in Ljubljana

"In Osijek, even with a serious mistake, I was close to the final," Medvedev said. "I am quite self-assured heading towards Sofia, and I am certain I can show my best side."

Medvedev said his current two vaults are strong enough to contend for a medal at Europeans, which will take place in the Bulgaria capitalfrom May 19-25.

"The difficulty of my first vault is 5.6, and the difficulty of my second vault in 6.0," said Medvedev, who moved with his family from Russia to Israel when he was 12. "This will be enough for me to challenge for a medal at the upcoming Europeans. I won't raise the difficulty yet. For me the main thing is to concentrate on clean execution."

Medvedev said he will focus on vault in Sofia as he continues to regain his form following a torn bicep in December 2013.

"I only recently recovered after the injury," said Medvedev, who turned 24 on April 6. "Seeing how my main wish has been to prepare on vault for Europeans, my other apparatuses are not ready for competition. Having said that, I will compete only on vault in Sofia."

Medvedev credits much of his recent progress to changing coaches and training facilities about a year and a half ago, when he began training under coach Andrei Levit in Tel Aviv. Levit coached Poland's Leszek Blanik to the vault bronze at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and vault gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Medvedev said he is constantly inspired by training in the same gym as 2013 European floor exercise co-champion Alexander Shatilov.

"Besides good conditions in the gym and a new coach, it has certainly helped me to have daily joint training sessions with Alex," said Medvedev of Shatilov, a two-time world championships bronze medalist on floor exercise. "Alex is an athlete of the highest level, and has always been an example to me not only as a gymnast, but also as a person. We are good friends and support each other in everything."

While Medvedev is aiming for a medal in Sofia, he is also preparing to upgrade his performances for this fall's world championships in Nanning.

"For the next world championships, I plan to increases the difficulty on my vaults," he told IG. "I will do two vaults with a 6.0 value. In training I am already working on vaults with a 6.4 value. Also in the plans is putting together a combination on floor exercise and try to reach the final. Of course the goal is to make it to the 2016 Olympic Games."

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