Smith called up from TV to Brazilian date

SUPERSTAR gymnast Louis Smith flew to South America this week following his unexpected promotion to the World Cup Finals event in Brazil. Smith, who at 17 will be the youngest competitor at the event by three years, boarded the plane last night (Tuesday),

SUPERSTAR gymnast Louis Smith flew to South America this week following his unexpected promotion to the World Cup Finals event in Brazil.

Smith, who at 17 will be the youngest competitor at the event by three years, boarded the plane last night (Tuesday), after attending the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year awards on Sunday evening.

The Commonwealth and Junior European pommel horse champion was originally reserve for the prestigious event in Sao Paulo - which showcases the top eight apparatus specialists from around the world.

However, a withdrawal means Smith has his chance and catapults the youngster into the world's elite, where he will compete against gymnasts from China, Japan, Russia, Croatia, Hungary and Australia.

Speaking yesterday, Huntingdon Gym Club secretary Erica MacKenzie said: "Louis sent me a text message last night (Monday) saying how excited he was.

"It is right up there with the top highlights of his career and he said he just wanted to make sure he puts in a clean performance more than anything."

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Smith's clubmate and fellow pommel specialist Daniel Keatings bounced back to form with a superb performance in the Great Britain U16 Gymnastic Tournament in Leipzig, Germany.

Keatings, 16, was competing against the best juniors from Switzerland, Germany and France, and the star captained the British squad to a silver medal in the team event and took first place individually.

The event was Keatings' first international meet after his success at the Commonwealth Games in March following a long period of injury and he was in impressive form, amassing the highest score of the day - a total of 85.35 points.

Next up for Keatings will be a trip down under to Sydney, Australia in January for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.

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