LOUIS Smith has vowed to avenge his darkest hour in Rotterdam next month after admitting a combination of home pressure and grief sparked last year’s World Championship disappointment.

LOUIS Smith has vowed to avenge his darkest hour in Rotterdam next month after admitting a combination of home pressure and grief sparked last year's World Championship disappointment.

The 21-year-old arrived at the O2 Arena in October 2009 with the pressure of home expectation on him after becoming the first British male in a century to claim an Olympic medal with bronze in Beijing.

However, the Huntingdon Olympic Gym Club member's preparations took atragic turn for the worse when his grandmother passed away on the eve of his homecoming event.

The 2006 Commonwealth champion struggled to recover and looked a shadow of the man who climbed the podium in China as he fell from the pommel horse to finish last in his favoured discipline.

But after opting to stick with last year's routine for this October's worlds in Holland, Smith insists his head is in the right place to erase his London nightmare.

"I was under a lot of stress last year because I was a big home favourite and then my Nan passed away and it was really hard to deal with," said Smith.

"It was a new routine for me then as well and that makes it harder to deliver a perfect display but I think it was down to the other stuff more than it being a new routine.

"It gave me quite a big kick up the bottom falling off and in some ways it was what I needed but it was a very tough event for me.

"I'll be doing the same one this year though and I have a harder one for the final if I need to use it - hopefully I will."

Smith elected to compete in the Worlds instead of the Commonwealth Games in the hope of securing qualification for next year's event, which in turn double up as an Olympic Games qualifier

He watched on as Huntingdon gymnast Luke Folwell became the most successful English gymnast in Commonwealth Games history, and hopes he can repeat some of his close friend's success.

"As for myself, first I want to avoid falling off and then I want to get into the final and then I will be looking at a medal and doing what I should have done last year," he added.

Coach Paul Hall said that Smith would be taking it one step at a time in Rotterdam.

"Louis has one of the hardest routines in the world, and his first aim will be to qualify for the final.

"He should make it but you can never take anything for granted in our sport. The main priority is putting together a good performance for Team GB."

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