Silver for Louis at English Championships

Huntingdon Gymnastics Club Extension and Refurbishment Opening Ceremony, Louis Smith.

Huntingdon Gymnastics Club Extension and Refurbishment Opening Ceremony, Louis Smith. - Credit: Archant

Louis Smith boosted his hopes of selection for the upoming European Championships with a terrific display at the weekend.

The Huntingdon Gym Club star underlined his standing as one of the finest pommel horse exponents in the world when winning a silver medal at the English Championships in Loughborough.

Smith earned a score of 15.85 for a routine with a high level of difficulty. Fellow international star Max Whitlock, who was part of the same Commonwealth Games gold-medal winning England team as Smith last summer, took the title with a 16.45 effort. Both scores are among the highest to be recorded on the piece of apparatus.

Triple Olympic-medallist Smith will aim to further boost his chances of making the European cut when lining up in the British Championships in Liverpool from March 27 to 29.

It is after that event the Great Britain team for the European event in Montpellier, France between April 13 and 19 will be finalised.

Huntingdon head coach Paul Hall said: “Louis performed a great routine – one with which I feel he can challenge the best in the world.

“I believe he is in contention for selection for the European Championships and this performance will have done him a power of good.

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“Now it is a case of performing equally as well at the British Championships later this month.

“There are so many great gymnasts in this country now and Louis has done very well to be able to keep such esteemed company.

“There are basically 10 guys fighting over five spots and that highlights the amount of talent we now have.”

Clubmate Daniel Keatings was allowed to compete as a guest at the English Championships.

The Scot took a tumble during his routine but is none the worse for the mishap.

There was also success for two stars of the future in the Junior Boys category as Patrick Murphy and Jake Jarman both struck gold.

Murphy won gold on rings and silver on vault while Jarman took gold on the pommel.

They finished sixth and seventh respectively overall.

Other notable results were the 37th place overall of Harry O’Driscoll and 20th position for Tilly Allen in the Junior Girls section.

Hall added: “It is terrific to see our juniors following the footsteps of the likes of Louis and Daniel.

“We always hope and expect to challenge for medals at the highest level and the lads were rewarded for their hard work as they train more than 20 hours a week.”