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Slovenia's Rok Klavora Enjoys Medal-Winning Roll
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

After winning his third consecutive Challenge Cup medal on floor exercise earlier this month, Slovenian veteran Rok Klavora told IG that quality execution has been key to his recent streak of podium finishes.

“I think the biggest advantage is that I’m elegant and clean over the whole routine,” said Klavora, who placed first on the event at the Challenge Cup of Ljubjlana on April 9. “I never had a very high start value, so I need to be very clean and have good landings.”

Klavora said his silver medal-winning performances at the Challenge Cup of Baku in February and the Challenge Cup of Doha in March were relative successes, too.

Two-time world floor exercise champion Kenzo Shirai of Japan placed first in Baku, and two-time world floor exercise champion Diego Hypolito of Brazil placed first in Doha.

“There was always a world champion ahead of me this year, so I can say that’s a good score,” Klavora said.

Klavora’s successes in Baku, Doha and Ljubjlana bode well for his prospects at the European Championships in Bern in late May, he said.

“For Europeans, surely I need to raise my start value, because there are some very good guys on floor, like Denis Ablyazin (Russia), Max Whitlock (Great Britain), Pablo Brägger (Switzerland), Kristian Thomas (Great Britain) and so on,” Klavora said. “The second thing is that I have to be very clean. I think that is the recipe for good results.”

Although no Slovenian male gymnast qualified for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Klavora said he looks forward to upcoming challenges.

“The biggest thing that motivates me is love for gymnastics,” he said. “I like to learn new skills every day, especially now. After Europeans last year I stopped doing all-around, and focused on floor and vault. This year I am going to do only floor, and next year vault, as well.”

The 27-year-old Klavora said he has no plans to retire.

“I wish to compete till the end,” he told IG. “If I’m going to be healthy I will compete. How long is hard to say, because gymnastics is my life. Every day I can be better as a gymnast. At the end of last year we finally got a new training center, and that’s helped me to train better, making it easier to learn new skills and raise my potential.”

International Gymnast Magazine Related Features:

"Brägger Breaks Through" - Pablo Brägger profile (January/February 2014) “Rok, Solid” - Klavora profile (November 2009)

“Slovenian Stalwarts” - Mijta Petkovsek/Aljaz Pegan interviews (March 2010)

“Declaration of Independence” - Slovenian team profile (February 2001)

"Divide and Conquer" - Kristian Thomas interview (May 2012)

"Lord Max" - Max Whitlock interview (June 2013)

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