|Two months shy of his 42nd birthday, Norway's Espen Jansen is competing in his 14th worlds.
Competing in his 14th world championships, Norway's Espen Jansen told IG he is surprised at the length of his career.
"Fourteen worlds is impressive even for me," Jansen said. "I did not think it would be that many, but now it feels good."
Jansen competes this afternoon in the eighth of 10 subdivisions of qualifications at the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam.
Jansen, who turns 42 in December, is the oldest competitor in Rotterdam. He competed in his first worlds in 1991 in Indianapolis.
"My health is as good as it can be for a gymnast," he said. "Some pains, but feeling good."
He was a late addition to Norway's lineup in Rotterdam, and said he wondered why he was not named to the team earlier.
"I won the first two [qualifications] and placed second in the last qualification," he said. "With my name [originally] out, it's obvious I'm not the guy they hoped for."
Norway was 34th at the 2006 World Championships. Teams must place in the top 24 to advance to the world championships the year before the Olympics.
Jansen, who at his first worlds shared the competition floor with gymnasts the like of Vitaly Scherbo and Valery Liukin, said Norway needs "many things" to improve its world standing.
"They need more hungry young gymnasts," he said. "And they need to build a system for gymnasts that are willing to train hard."
Jansen said he plans to keep training, and hopes to make a trip for his 15th worlds next year in Tokyo.
"Time will show," he said.