Thomas determined to help GB men defend team title in Sofia

20 May 2014 / 13:25

Kristian Thomas insists it is team success and not personal glory that he is hellbent on achieving as attention turns to Team GB’s men at the European Artistic Gymnastic Championships in Sofia.

Great Britain’s women have already strutted their stuff in Bulgaria, the team of Hannah Whelan, Rebecca Downie, Rebecca Tunney, Claudia Fragapane, and Ruby Harrold claiming silver.

And now the spotlight shines on Thomas, Sam Oldham, Max Whitlock, Daniel Keatings and Daniel Purvis as the men bid to follow suit.

The last time a team competition was included in the European Championships schedule was back in 2012 in Montpellier where Great Britain returned home with gold around their necks.

Thomas was one fifth of that team and although he has since gone on to claim individual World Championships vault bronze last year, the 25-year-old is determined to help Great Britain finish top of the pile once again.

“I’m feeling really good going in to the championships as are all the lads, so we’re in good shape,” he said.

“Having taken the World Championships vault bronze last year I'm certainly looking at individual finals but the priority and main aim for all of us is to defend our European team title.

“To go in to these championships as favourites still feels a bit weird, when I first began gymnastics that wouldn’t have been the case but what we have a achieved as a group over the last ten years means we are rightly seen as amongst the best and that gives us all confidence.

“There is a bit of pressure as people expect great results but we're all experienced and know how to compete in big competitions.

“We have a very strong team and it’s good to get out there at the start of the year as a marker for the World Championships to come and put pressure on other countries.

“All the British lads are looking at the year as a whole, stay away from injuries and look to put in the best performances we can at these championships, the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships later in the year.”

© Sportsbeat 2014