London 2012 / Artistic Gymnastics / Shatilov set to make two finals
Unless there are some major surprises in the third qualification group, he will progress to the final of the overall competition and the floor event.
LONDON - Alex Shatilov made a strong start to the artistic gymnastics event at the London Olympics on Saturday. Unless there are some major surprises in the third qualification group, he will progress to the final of the overall competition and the floor event.
Shatilov started the day well, scoring 14.700 on the parallel bars, followed by 14.333 on the rings, 15.000 on the horizontal bar and 14.133 on the pommel horse. In the final event, the vault, he scored 15.533 - one of the best results of the day. The critical moment for Shatilov, however, came in the floor exercise, which is generally recognized as his strongest. He was fully-focused and scored a hugely impressive 15.633 - earning not only second place in his group, but warm applause from the crowd.
At the end of the day's events, Shatilov had amassed 89.032 points, leaving him seventh overall. "I came into today's events totally ready," he told Haaretz afterward. "There's still a lot of room for improvement, but I have a couple of days to get ready. I got the job done today and I really feel like I'm in with a shot of winning a medal. Today was good preparation for the final. I'm as good as anyone participating here."
As of press time, the third group of gymnasts were still competing, so Shatilov's final placing is still unknown. He's currently seventh in the overall standings (with 24 progressing to the final ) and third in the floor exercise (where eight competitors will go through to the final ).
Shatilov was not the only Israeli gymnast in action yesterday. Felix Aharonovitch, who, at the age of just 24 is making his first Olympic appearance, put in a decent display. He scored 14.033 on the floor, 13.433 on the pommel horse, 14.100 on the rings, 13.900 on the vault, 14.233 on the parallel bars and 13.500 on the horizontal bar.
At the moment, Aharonovitch is ranked 19th overall with 83.199 points.
"Having got a taste of the Olympic Games," he said, "I want more. I felt good, and apart from one little slip in my last event, I'm pleased with my performance. I wasn't far off making the final of the all-round competition."