Louis Smith admits he is relieved to have come through qualification at the World Gymnastics Championships unscathed after battling with illness during the build-up to the competition in Glasgow.
The 26-year-old from Eye is a three-time Olympic medallist and is looking to help Britain secure their spot at Rio 2016 by finishing in the top eight during qualification and earning an all-around team final berth.
The Brits took a giant leap towards that goal yesterday (October 25) with a total score of 354.417 in the morning session – Smith scoring 27.433 on the pommel horse and parallel bars.
The GB score made them early leaders, but the final standings will not be confirmed until tomorrow evening when all the countries have competed.
Smith’s pommel routine particularly impressed with a score of 15.533 meaning he might get a shot at the individual apparatus final but he says it was all a case of getting the job done for the team on the day.
“We had a few mistakes but we didn’t carry many faults so it wasn’t too bad. There were a few niggles here and there but nothing major,” he said.
“I think we are all just happy to not have any injuries and carry a full and healthy team if we qualify for the team final.
“I’m very pleased with how the pommel horse went, I have been quite unwell recently and am on antibiotics for a throat infection.
“I thought I was going to faint after the parallel bars so I was just happy to get through the horse routine, very happy.
“I’ve been on antibiotics for the last three days but I just thought I would go and get on with it and I came through and that is what counts.”
Smith is one of the country’s most experienced gymnasts, having taken medals at both London 2012 and Beijing 2008.
And he says he is in a strong place heading into his third Olympics and believes he can do the job for Britain in Brazil.
“I think the major change for me happened between Beijing and London because British Gymnastics wasn’t well known before,” he added.
“So adjusting to getting a medal and people knowing who I was the most difficult change but now I am used to that side of life.
“The last few years have been better for me and I think I am a lot more ready for Rio than I was going into London.”
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