OLYMPICS: Tweddle backing Louis to bounce back

Louis Smith will come out fighting.
Louis Smith will come out fighting.
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Louis Smith will bounce back from his Olympics heartbreak and go for gold in Rio tonight (August 14).

The 27 year-old Eye gymnast was the ‘fall guy’ in Monday night’s men’s team final when he slipped off the pommel horse during his one and only routine as Team GB pushed for a podium finish.

Smith’s mark of 14.766 was far lower than anything he had produced in recent years and Team GB fell out of medal contention and eventually finished fourth behind Japan, Russia and China.

He’s back on the horse tonight (7.30pm) for the individual final and Beth Tweddle, Britain’s most successful female gymnast, believes Smith will bounce back with a bang.

The three-time world champion is confident Smith will not suffer any mental repercussions from the disappointment and will push his GB team-mate Max Whitlock all the way. At last year’s World Championships, Whitlock won gold and Smith took the silver.

Tweddle said: “Louis will pick himself up again. He’s had a bit of time to go back to the gym and work on where it went wrong.

“He will come back fighting. It will be a great battle between him and Max in that pommel final.

“Louis is a very experienced gymnast. He has been around for 10 years on the senior circuit. He knows how to get himself in that zone. It was unfortunate with that fall at the end. It’s disappointing as I know how hard he trains.”

Smith has won three Olympic medals - individual bronze in Beijing and individual silver and team bronze in London - and is desperate to complete the full set.

He said Rio would prove his most “passionate” Games yet — because he wants to win for his mother, who brought him up as a single parent.

“The older I’ve got, the more it sinks in how much she had to do for me. It’s just incredible, it inspires me every day.”