Olympics the sole focus for Smith

22 May 2012 / 16:16

Louis Smith is refusing to pile pressure on himself at the European Championships despite being one of Britain's best hopes for gymnastics gold at the Olympics this summer.

The 23-year-old pommel horse specialist will compete in the tournament in Montpellier, France, with the sole intention of ironing out the creases in his tougher routines ahead of the London Games.

Smith ended Britain's 80-year Olympic medal drought in gymnastics four years ago in Beijing when he claimed bronze in the pommel horse final behind Xiao Qin of China and Croatia's Filip Ude.

The Peterborough-born gymnast freely admits that securing a medal at London 2012 is his main focus, with this week's European Championships a stepping stone to book his place in the five-man GB squad.

"The Olympics is where it's at," said Smith. "That is the pinnacle, that is the competition.

"It's not about the European Championships, it's not about the test event or these grands prix. It's about London and performing your best routine.

"It's trial and error and learning from your mistakes to make sure you get it right on the day.

"If I was to go to the European Championships and make a mistake, it's not: 'Oh my God, Louis has fallen off at the European Championships,' it's: 'He's made a mistake and knows what not to do for the Olympic Games and he knows what to do to change it, how to correct it'.

"I think some people lose track of it."

Smith will compete alongside team-mates Daniel Purvis, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Ruslan Panteyleymonov.