Israeli Gymnast Shatilov Takes Bronze in Men's Floor Exercise at European Championships

Shatilov's future as an athlete was in doubt after falling in qualifying routine for Rio Olympics, but Saturday's bronze marks his comeback

Bronze medal winner Alexander Shatilov of Israel during medal ceremony of men floor apparatus final for the European Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Cluj Napoca, Romania April 22, 2017.
Bronze medal winner Alexander Shatilov of Israel during medal ceremony of men floor apparatus final for the European Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Cluj Napoca, Romania April 22, 2017. DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP

Israeli gymnast Alexander Shatilov won a bronze medal in the Men's Floor Exercise at the European Championships in Cluj, Romania on Saturday, marking a major comeback since a fall cost him the chance to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Shatilov, 30, scored 14.400 in Cluj, leading him to his fifth bronze medal at the European championships, alongside a silver and a gold medal in Moscow in 2013. The athelete will be awarded 20,000 shekels ($5,400) from the joint foundation of the Olympic Committee in Israel and the Sports and Culture Ministry for his win.

Shatilov's career was thrown into doubt in 2016 after falling during his qualifier routine, leaving him out of Olympic competition altogether.

"These kinds of things happen to everyone and I'm dissapointed that it has happened to me now," he said at the time. "This isn't a good time to decide in the spur of the moment about the future, I need to calm down and look forward. Physically and mentally I can continue - the passion is still there."

Saturday's bronze medal marked his comeback and solidified his position among the top competitors in the world.