Huntingdon gymnast coach tells Olympic qualification duo: ‘The work starts here’

THE head coach of two Huntingdon-based gymnasts who secured Britain’s place in the London 2012 games has told the Olympic hopefuls ‘the hard work starts now’.

Paul Hall, head coach at Huntingdon Olympics Gymnastics and one of the Team GB coaches, was relieved to see Louis Smith and Dan Keatings, who he has trained for more than 15 years at, along with Dan Purvis, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Ruslan Panteleymonovas, beat France to the top spot to secure a five-man team to compete for gold in the summer.

After the disappointment of failing to qualify in the World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo last year, the Britain gymnastics team overcame their nerves to win yesterday’s qualification event cement their place in London 2012 return to the arena.

The Great Britain Gymnastics team coach said: “We are feeling very relieved as we expected to be qualify, and they did it with style. It was also a matter of whether we would be taking one or five to the Olympics and I’m really happy we will be taking all five.

Last October, in Tokyo, we were disappointed we didn’t finish in the top eight to qualify as they made a few mistakes.

“It really was the last chance saloon yesterday and a good dress rehearsal for the games which also take place in the O2 arena. I am very proud but they must remain focused and not get carried away.

“Louis and Dan have to stay fit and keep producing results until June at the British Championships when the team is selected - they have prove they are in the top five in the country which is no easy feat with so many talented gymnasts in Britain.”

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The duo leave for a training camp in Mexico next week ahead of European Championships, Grand Prix, and the British Championship, in a busy schedule before the Olympics.