Although Israeli gymnast Felix Aronovich legitimately earned a berth for this summer's Olympic Games in London, he told IG this week he is cautiously optimistic that he can pass the final standard set for him by the Olympic Committee of Israel.
Olympic qualifier Felix Aronovich (Israel)
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) awarded Aronovich an individual spot for the Games based on his performance at the Olympic test event in London in January.
To participate in London, however, Aronovich said his country's Olympic committee requires him to prove himself again next month's European championships in Montpellier, France.
"In terms of the FIG and all, I am already qualified," said the 23-year-old Aronovich. "But the Olympic Committee of Israel is requiring me to do their own criteria (at Europeans) - either finaling on an event, or making the top 12 in the all-around."
Aronovich, who moved with his family from Ukraine to Israel when he was 2, is one of three Israeli gymnasts who have qualified for London.
The other two gymnasts are Alexander Shatilov, who received an automatic berth from the FIG based on his bronze medal-winning performance on floor exercise at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo; and Valeria Maksyuta, whom the FIG nominated based on her results at the test event.
"The European championships are the one and only chance as a criteria that the committee gives me," said Aronovich, who also competes for Pennsylvania State University, where he is a junior. "It's not just me. Valeria is in the same situation."
Aronovich said he is ready to give his best at Europeans, which will take place May 21-27. The women's competition will take place May 9-13 in Brussels.
"I am going for the all-around, since finaling on an event is extremely difficult and my strength is the all-around," he told IG. "I believe I can do it. If I will do the same as in practice, not more and not less, I believe it should be enough for the top 12."
International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:
"Aiming High" - Shatilov profile (January/February 2009)
"Maximizing Her Options" - Maksyuta profile (January/February 2010)
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