Gymnastics - Louis is crowned king of Europe

Louis Smith in action.
Louis Smith in action.
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Louis Smith was crowned king of Europe this afternoon (April 18) with another perfect pommel horse routine.

The Olympic siver medallist from Eye won the gold medal at the European Championships in Montpellier with an immaculate performance that earned him a top score of 15.800 - the same mark he achieved in qualifying on Thursday and the best in the world this year.

It was Smith’s first appearance for Great Britain since the London 2012 Olympic Games and he set a scorching pace. He was first up and the rest of the field couldn’t match his skill and composure.

Smith, who came out of retirement last year after winning the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, is now looking forward to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Silver medallist Harutyum Merdinyan from Armenia achieved a score of 15.333 for his routine with Italy’s Alberto Busnari taking the bronze with 15.200.

Smith has won two Olympic medals on pommel horse but never that elusive major championship gold. His performances in Montpellier on his return to the British team were outstanding throughout and he was a class above again in the final.

Smith said: “It’s unbelievable. I don’t really know what to say. I was first up and had to stay composed which I did. It’s just brilliant.

“It was always a bit hit and miss as to whether I could come back and today for me was a trial for myself. I was so nervous. To win gold makes it all worth it - incredible.”