Monday, March 31, 2014
Huntingdon Gymnastics Club was well represented at the British Gymnastics Championships, held at the Echo Arena in Liverpool over the weekend, with both Dan Keatings and Louis Smith laying down markers ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The event marked a welcome return to form for Keatings, who took bronze in the all-around event, behind fellow Olympians Max Whitlock and Daniel Purvis, who took silver.
Keatings, 23, was in fine form taking a gold medal on the parallel bars with a score of 15.45, a silver on pommel horse, and a bronze on floor. Sam Oldham finished in fourth place all-around, qualifying for five finals.
Smith continued to impress in his Commonwealth comeback campaign by performing a superb routine on the pommel horse to take the bronze, with just one tenth of as point separating him from Keatings in second and Whitlock.
In Sunday’s final the tables were turned as Keatings performed the most difficult routine of the day, scoring 16.133, to beat Whitlock who took silver, with Smith taking a second bronze.
The three scores were some of the highest in the world this year and underline the incredible depth that Great Britain has on this piece of apparatus. Both Keatings and Smith are now serious contenders for berths on the GB team for the European Championships which are being held in Bulgaria in May.
Junior gymnast Tony Duchars took a well-deserved bronze medal on the pommel horse in the youth competition with Benji Eyre also finishing well on the six men’s apparatus.
In the girls junior section Lottie Smith and Becky Morris finished 11th and 15th respectively.
Meanwhile, also over the weekend, Cameron Mackenzie was also in action at the African Championships held in Pretoria. Mackenzie recently reverted back to his original South African status and worked well to finish fourth with a solid performance that will increase his chances of Commonwealth selection.
Both Keatings and Smith now have a very busy few weeks of competition ahead. Keatings will fly to Brazil next week for a GB international and Smith is heading to Korea for a World Cup Competition against some of the best exponents of pommel horse in the world.
Both gymnasts are hoping for selection to the Glasgow Games this summer with Keatings representing Scotland and Smith hoping to win his second Commonwealth pommel title for England.
Smith, 24, has three Olympic medals to his name but won his first major medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.