Monday, April 22, 2013
HUNTINGDON gymnast Dan Keatings has capped his comeback since missing out on a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games with a gold medal on the pommel horse at the European Gymnastics Championships in Moscow at the weekend.
Keatings, 23, performed a superb exercise which scored 15.6, beating Olympic champion Kristian Berki into second place, with Great Britain’s Olympic Bronze Medallist Max Whitlock taking the bronze.
“I was disappointed not to have made the Olympic team last year but did the only thing that I knew I could and that was to train harder than ever and prove that I am still on track for Rio 2016,” said Keatings
“I am so glad to have won in such a tough field, beating two Olympic medallists along the way.”
In a close fought final that saw six gymnasts with scores all above 15.0, Keatings held his nerve and swung one of the most difficult exercises to finish top of the pile.
The result cements an incredible legacy of international medals for Huntingdon Gymnastics Club on the Pommel Horse, after Louis Smith’s silver at the Olympics.
Keatings had a tough 2012 after being sidelined for the London Games and watching Smith doing so well, but has now marked his card by winning a European title to add to the three apparatus titles he won at last month’s British Championships.
Head coach Paul Hall said: “What a fantastic testament to the never say die attitude that Dan has shown over the past two years.
“He has fought back from injury and selection upsets and has, once again, proved that he has the potential to emulate Louis Smith’s results in Rio in just a few years time.”
Keatings certainly won’t be resting on his laurels with October’s World Championships in Antwerp, Belgium on the horizon.