Israeli gymnast Alexander (Alex) Shatilov is champion of the men’s floor exercise discipline in all of Europe. The 26-year-old scored the best achievement in his career at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Moscow over the weekend.
Shatilov is the first Israeli to win the European Championship in gymnastics. His achievements over the years are impressive: bronze medal at the 2009 European Championship; silver medal in 2011 and 2012 at the Europeans.
“Nothing can be compared to this feeling,” he told reporters after his win. “This is the most satisfying of feelings. I’ve waited for this moment for a long time. It makes you realize that all your work was worthwhile.”
Shatilov was one of Israel’s top medal hopefuls at the London Olympics.
Interestingly, he came in sixth place in the men’s individual floor exercises final with a score of 15.333 points in London. In Moscow on April 20, he again scored 15.333 points – this time good enough to share the first place with Britain’s Max Whitlock.
Shatilov’s win comes with a $13,800 bonus from the Olympic Committee. His coach, Sergei Vaisburg, will split the winnings with his athlete.
The Uzbekistan-born Israeli gymnast is considered one of Israel’s best hopes for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Israel had another good showing at the championships, 17-year-old Ofir Nezer finished fourth on the vault at the women’s apparatus final.