Smith and Keatings take Gold on Two Continents
It was a busy Easter weekend for Olympic Gymnasts Louis Smith and Daniel Keatings, with each travelling to different Continents as part of their European and Commonwealth selection campaign. Triple Olympic Medallist, Smith, travelled to Seoul, South Korea to compete in the prestigious World Cup event, while Keatings made the journey to Brazil as part of a 4 man GB squad in a team event in San Paolo.
Smith, 24, and representing Great Britain for the first time since his London Final, was competing against some of the World's finest exponents on Pommel Horse, including arch rival, Kristian Berki of Hungary, gold medallist in London and former World Champion on this most exacting of appararatus. Berki produced a solid performance to score 15.775, but it was the superior difficulty of Smith who took an impressive Gold Medal with a score of 15.85 for the most complex exercise of the competition.
Smith was pleased with his performance and glad to be back on the competition circuit, commenting:
“I'm very pleased with my performance today after over 18 months out of international competition. I've now scored some of the highest marks on pommels at 3 consecutive events and it feels good to be able to fight for medals with some of the best in the World.”
Keatings, 23, was also in fine form, helping the GB team to Gold in front of Brazil, as well as finishing second all around and taking gold in finals on both Pommel Horse and Parallel Bars. The current European Champion on Pommel Horse adds these medals to an impressive tally that includes 2 titles at the British Championships last month.
The Huntingdon gymnasts must now wait for selection announcements for the European Championships to be held in Bulgaria in May, as well as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow later in the summer. For Smith it marks another chapter in an intriguing story of an Olympic Medallist that took a break to dance, and has now climbed back on his horse. With Rio just two years away he must surely be considering another chance for that elusive gold.