Gymnast Smith not daunted by history

30 July 2012 / 08:14

Louis Smith is confident the British men's gymnastics team can keep their focus as they bid to win the first Olympic team medal in their history on Monday.

The five-man British team of Smith, Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham finished third in team qualification behind the United States and Russia, booking themselves Britain's first men's team final place since 1924.

They qualified with a margin of clear two points over defending Olympic team and world champions China in a day that exceeded all expectations.

"One of the things we say in our team is not to worry about what other people do," Smith said. "We try to focus on what we want to do. We know what we're capable of.

"It's been a tough four years. Where we've come from four years ago in British gymnastics, the expectation is getting massive, so to come here, at the pinnacle of our Olympic Games, and get that result is amazing.

"We're going to go out there and enjoy it. I think we've exceeded expectations already."

The scoring system changes for the final, with three gymnasts from every team competing on each piece of apparatus with all three scores counting towards the overall total.

It means there is no margin for error, and Purvis, who also qualified for the individual all-around final, believes it is dangerous to write the reigning champions off.

"I'm sure China will turn it on in the team finals," he said. "China are the world champions. They're awesome. Especially in three-up, three-to-count so I think they will hit their routines good on Monday."

Joining Britain, the United States, Russia and China in the final are 2008 silver medallists Japan, Ukraine, France and Germany.