Gymnast Smith thinking positive

27 July 2012 / 10:49

Gymnast Louis Smith is refusing to let any negative thoughts enter his head as he prepares for one of the biggest days of his life.

Smith and his Great Britain team-mates Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham will compete in the qualification events on Saturday at the North Greenwich Arena which will either make or break their Olympic Games.

As a team they need to finish in the top eight in order to qualify for the team final, while individual apparatus and all-around final qualifications will also be decided.

Pommel horse specialist Smith, who ended Britain's 80-year Olympic medal drought in gymnastics four years ago in Beijing with bronze on the apparatus, knows what he has to do in order to secure safe passage to the finals for both the team and himself.

"I'll do my easier routine, my 16.9 in qualifiers, that's what I always do," Smith said.

"There's no point risking falling off in qualification so I'll do my easier routine and I'm doing a high bar routine beforehand as well so that will probably get me into the swing of things.

"The things that will be running through my head when I step up to compete are: 'I'm ready, I've got my Nan looking over me, I've got the support of my friends and family in the crowd. I've been waiting 19 years for this,' so it is just going to be all positive thoughts running through my head."

Purvis, the 2010 world and European floor bronze medallist, finished fourth in last year's individual all-around at the World Championships and is another strong medal prospect for Team GB.

Thomas, who alongside Purvis and Smith was part of the team who won European team gold earlier this year, could also be a surprise package with his strong vault and floor routines.

However, the British team will face tough competition in the shape of the United States, Japan and China. China won team gold in Beijing and at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships, and are favourites to top the podium again.