Verniaiev views Doha Worlds with youthful enthusiasm
DOHA: Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev is one of the veterans competing at the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships that will begin here at the Aspire Dome on Thursday, but he is approaching the event with the glee and wonder of a newcomer.
The 25-year-old, who placed second all-around and first on parallel bars at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, is delighted to be in the Qatari capital following a post-Olympic letdown and two surgeries in January.
“After the Rio Olympics I lost a little of my motivation and interest,” Verniaiev told www.worldgymdoha18.com after podium training. “But several months after my surgery, coming here, I feel like a child.”
Verniaiev said he is optimistic for a good performance in Doha, despite his limited preparation time and some lingering shoulder pain.
His best Worlds finishes include gold on parallel bars in 2014, silver on parallel bars in 2015 and 2017, and fourth place all-around in 2014 and 2015.
“It’s like I am coming to the Worlds for the first time,” said the Ukrainian. “I’m not so ready, but I’m so happy to be here.”