Games qualification lays Tokyo demons to rest

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Louis Smith believes the possibilities for British men’s gymnastics are endless after they qualified a full team for the Olympic Games for the first time in 20 years.

The 22-year-old pommel horse specialist was part of the six-man GB team – which also included Daniel Purvis, Daniel Keatings, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Ruslan Panteleymonov – who finished first at the second Olympic qualification at the London Prepares test event with a total of 358.227 to book their place at the Games.

“We’ve been smashing records and doing all sorts over the past few years,” said Smith.

“To qualify a team for the first time in 20 years, it shows what these guys are capable of.

“When we pull together and get the job done, we’re focused and not stressed out, we can do well in the competition.

“It just shows how good the guys can be when they’re in the right frame of mind and they’re fit and focused. The team atmosphere is brilliant.”

The GB men showed a great improvement on their performance at the World Championships in Tokyo last October where a calamitous performance on the horizontal bar and a low score on rings derailed their qualification.

Smith is confident those demons have now been laid to rest.