Triple Olympic medallist, Louis Smith, began his Commonwealth Games selection campaign in great style over the weekend (15-16th March 2014), following a superb performance at the English Gymnastics Championships, held in Wigan. Competing in what was his first gymnastics competition since the London Games, the triple Olympic medallist showed great style and extreme difficulty to score 15.7 on the pommel horse, taking the silver medal behind Max Whitlock of South Essex. The Huntingdon gymnast also worked well on Parallel Bars, finishing in 6th place with a score of 14.25.
The performance comes after a post Christmas announcement that Smith had 'unfinished business' and wanted to go for selection to the Glasgow Games. His score on pommel horse was two tenths above that of arch rival Kristian Berki's efforts on the same apparatus in a World Cup event in Germany held over the same weekend, and underline the fact that Smith is back and on the hunt for medals:
'I'm really happy with my performance this weekend, coming just 12 weeks into my training plan. I'm getting fitter every day and have more skills to put into my routine, and am looking forward to showing everyone that I am up there with the best in the World'.
Smith will compete in the British Championships at the end of the month, before flying to a World Cup event in South Korea over Easter. Clubmate Daniel Keatings was also in action over the weekend as part of a GB delegation at the Cottbus Grand Prix. Keatings, 23, qualified for two finals against some of the best gymnasts in the world, finishing 4th on Pommel Horse and 6th on High Bar. He now prepares for the British Championships and aims for selection to the European Championships, to be held in Bulgaria in May.
The Club was well represented at the English Championships by a host of junior aspirants. In the Junior Boys section Patrick Murphy finished 11th in a field of 50, with Jake Jarman coming 14th, and Harry O Driscoll and Joe Brown finishing 24th and 39th respectively. Maddy Young came 7th in the senior women's event, with Tilly Allen, Lottie Smith and Becky Morris working well in the junior category.
Maddy came 27th out of 46 in the Senior Women’s competition
The other girls were competing in the Junior Women’s competition and placed as follows:
Tilly Allen came 19th out of 40, with the 9th highest AA Vault score of the day
Lottie came 27th out of 40, finishing 10th on Beam
Becky Morris came 34th out of 40