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Saturday, 15 Oct 2011
Louis Smith has claimed an emphatic bronze medal on the pommel horse at the World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo despite losing control at the end of his technically challenging routine, the hardest ever attempted on a senior international stage.
Louis struggled in the build-up to his dismount and lost vital marks, leaving him third with a score of 15.066 behind Hungarian gold medallist, Krisztian Berki, on 15.866 and France’s Cyril Tommasone, who won silver with 15.266. But the level of difficulty in his routine ensured that, despite a slip, he still placed 3rd in a hugely talented field.
Louis’ gamble on performing his most difficult routine left him upbeat despite the error which cost him the chance of gold.
“I’m so happy to have gone out there and put out my hardest routine,” Smith said. “I cannot believe I got the bronze but to go out there and do that routine that I’ve worked so hard on, no one knows how good that feels.
“When I knew I was in the final I said to my coach: ‘I want to try the hard routine.’ In training and warm-up I felt really good, I woke up singing so knew I was in good shape, an unfortunate slip at the end but really happy overall.”
The Huntingdon gymnast’s quest to increase the difficulty of his already complex routine led to falls at the 2009 world championships and again at the 2011 European championships, but the Olympic bronze medallist believes he is making huge steps towards claiming gold in London next year.
“I didn’t set out to win gold,” he told the BBC. “I wanted to prove I could do the routine and use this as a stepping stone for 2012.
“That was a confidence boost like no other. It’s the hardest routine in the world and I’ve gone out, trained it for weeks, and done it. I’ve competed it in a competition environment – in a pressure situation – and that makes me feel a lot better about it.”
Lous is yet to qualify for the London Games, a feat he will be looking to achieve with the British men at the Olympic test event at the North Greenwich Arena in January.
Source: GSE Management