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Israel’s Shatilov Enjoys Golden Birthday In Doha
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Three-time Israeli Olympian Alexander Shatilov told IG he enjoyed celebrating his 32nd birthday with a gold medal-winning performance on floor exercise at the World Cup of Doha on March 22.

“It was really nice to compete on my birthday and I am really happy that I could give myself a present,” said Shatilov, who outscored 25-year-old silver medalist Rayderley Zapata of Spain and 19-year-old bronze medalist Carlos Yulo of the Philippines.

Zapata and Yulo won bronze on floor exercise at the 2015 and 2018 World Championships, respectively.

Shatilov, who won bronze on floor exercise at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships, said his age does not limit his potential to better his gymnastics.

“I’m already 32, but it absolutely does not bother me,” said Shatilov, who also won bronze on floor exercise at the 2017 European Championships. “I feel that I can still improve my skills, and that is why I continue my sports career.”

Shatilov said he is confident he can earn a berth for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which would be his fourth Olympic start. He made the floor exercise final at the 2008 and 2012 Games, finished 12th all-around at the 2012 Games, and competed on two apparatuses at the 2016 Games.

Following his success in Doha, Shatilov plans to fortify his program for a good showing at this fall’s World Championships in Stuttgart, and thereby qualify for Tokyo.

“I am sure that I have chances,” he told IG. “I must continue to work and get in good shape for the World Championships. For Stuttgart, I have to try to raise the difficulty on floor exercise, and of course work on the all-around, in order to increase the chances of getting to the Olympics Games.”

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