Baku 2015: British trampoline star Strong by name and nature

13 June 2015 / 12:33

Luke Strong admits he had to live up to his name after being crushed when he failed to make the British Olympic team in London.

The trampoline gymnast may only be 21 but he's already had a lifetime of overcoming adversity.

As a 15-year he was told he would probably lose his leg after a devastating training injury but recovered to put himself in contention for the 2012 Games, only to miss the qualifying standard by a tenth of a point.

He then broke the leg he nearly lost before recovering again to win bronze at last year's European Championship, becoming the first British medallist at the event in 32 years.

And that's form which makes the Liverpudlian one to watch at the European Games in Baku.

"Being so close to making London 2012 was obviously heartbreaking and it's definitely always in the back of my mind," said Strong.

“It would have been amazing to be at a home Games but everything happens for a reason.

"It definitely pushes me every day at the gym through the hard days to come back and hopefully make Rio."

Strong claims he has blocked out the memories of the training accident that nearly proved life changing and credits long-time coach Jay Scouler for keeping him focussed. 

"It happened ages ago and I’m fit and fine now,” he added. 

“I just get on with training and once you’re in the air you don’t think about it. You’re just thinking about your routine.”

However, Scouler - a member of the Team GB coaching staff in Baku - admits the memory of that day is still vivid for him.

"His injury was the worst I’ve ever experienced with one of my athletes, the doctors were talking about amputation," he said.

"Sometimes when young people have an injury like that they don't have the drive or ambition to keep pushing forward but I had to slow Luke down with his recovery.

"His performance at last year's Europeans was very special, he delivered an amazing routine and finished ahead of some well established athletes."

© Sportsbeat 2015