Smith heads up GB squad

02 May 2012 / 13:50

Olympic medallist Louis Smith will lead the Great Britain gymnastics team at the European Championships later this month, but 2009 World all-around champion Daniel Keatings misses out.

Smith, who won bronze on the pommel horse four years ago in Beijing, will be joined by British champion Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Ruslan Panteyleymonov at the competition which will be held between May 23 and 27 in Montpellier, France.

Keatings injured his ankle ligaments last month, with his coach Paul Hall confirming it would rule him out for a few weeks, while Sam Oldham also misses out on a place in the squad.

Eddie Van Hoof, British Gymnastics men's technical director said: "These European Championships serve as an important challenge ahead of the Olympic Games and an opportunity for our senior team members to promote their performance on the world stage.

"We have a very strong squad and with Sam Oldham and Dan Keatings ever improving fitness levels we will have a great depth to select from in the summer."

The tournament forms part of the gymnasts' preparation for London 2012 with the athletes all looking to stake their claim to make the Games team which will be announced on July 4.

Tim Jones, British Gymnastics Olympic performance director, said: "We have had to make some difficult decisions when selecting both teams for this event, with the competition for places being tougher than ever.

"We are convinced our senior team can maintain its strong progress towards London 2012, and look forward to our juniors continuing our strong recent tradition of producing excellent European junior results."

The junior team is led by 2011 British youth champion Frank Baines and 2011 European Youth Olympic Champion Courtney Tulloch, along with Jay Thompson, Nile Wilson and Brinn Bevan.