Coach says Louis Smith is a serious contender for European place

Louis Smith won gold on the pommel horse at the European Championships.

Louis Smith won gold on the pommel horse at the European Championships. - Credit: Archant

Returning hero Louis Smith is being taken seriously as a gymnast again.

That is the belief of the double Olympic medallist’s head coach at Huntingdon Gym Club, Paul Hall.

Smith delivered fine displays to claim British senior and Masters pommel horse gold at the weekend in Liverpool. His winning score of 15.95 in the Masters event is one of the finest produced in the world so far in 2015.

Hall believes Smith has done enough to earn a place on the six-man Great Britain team for the European Championships in France in mid-April. A squad announcement is expected this week.

Hall said: “Louis was terrific in Liverpool and anyone who thought his comeback may have been half-hearted has been proved very wrong.

“I think Louis is being taken seriously again after having to prove himself all over again. It is an incredible achievement for him to be back in the mix with Great Britain on top of the world in the pommel horse.

“I’m hopeful and confident he will make it into the GB team for the Euros.

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“Then we have the World Championships later this year and Rio is just around the corner. Louis now has every opportunity to fight for selection and chase that elusive Olympic gold medal, the only colour missing from his collection.”

There was disappointment for fellow Huntingdon Gym Club man Dan Keatings as he took a tumble in the British Championships.

But there was more success for Huntingdon at junior level where 15 year-old Patrick Murphy won bronze on the parallel bars at Under 16 level.

Murphy finished seventh in the all-around competition while Harry O’Driscoll also worked well across six apparatus in the class to finish 28th.

Lottie Smith was 13th all around and sixth in the uneven bars final in the Women’s Junior section.

Hall added: “It is another example of how Huntingdon Gym Club is working hard to produce medallists at national and international level.”