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Aït Saïd Ready For Europeans Title Defense
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2013 European rings co-champion Samir Aït Saïd of France told IG he is confident about his medal prospects at the men's European championships that will begin Wednesday in Sofia.

2013 European rings co-champion Samir Aït Saïd (France) told IG he is confident about his medal prospects at the men's European championships that will begin Wednesday in Sofia.

Aït Saïd, 24, tied Ukraine's Igor Radivilov for the gold medal on rings at last spring's Europeans in Moscow.

"I want to do a really good routine and show beautiful gymnastics," he said. "And if the routine is good, then I can hope for a medal."

Aït Saïd said he also wants to help redeem France from its eighth-place finish in the team final at the 2012 Europeans in Montpellier, where a Europeans team final last took place.

In Montpellier, Aït Saïd severely injured his right leg when he crashed his Dragulescu vault. The mistake resulted in a score of zero and dropped France to last place.

"Before my injury we were in third place," he said. "My injury put the team in trouble. In Sofia, we hope to make a good competition to be in the top five."

Other French seniors scheduled to compete in Sofia are Kévin Antoniotti, Olympians Hamilton Sabot and Cyril Tommasone, and Arnaud Willig.

Although Aït Saïd is likely to face off with Radivilov and other rings specialists in Sofia, he is eager to compete with Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland, the 2012 Olympic champion on high bar.

"I really like Zonderland," Aït Saïd told IG. "He impresses me a lot. You have to be crazy to do everything he does! I really like his gymnastics."

Competition begins Wednesday in Sofia with the junior team and qualification, and continues Thursday with the senior men's qualification.

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:

Samir Aït Saïd interview (June 2013)
Arnaud Willig interview (January/February 2014)
"Skilled and Studious" – Epke Zonderland cover story (March 2014)
"The Flying Dutchman" – Zonderland interview (May 2010)

To order back issues or subscribe to the digital and/or print edition of International Gymnast magazine, click here.

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