April 23 2014 Latest news:
By MARK BOGGIS
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
History was made at the London 2012 Olympics last night as Great Britain’s men won a bronze medal in the gymnastics team final - here we have video footage of four of the team training in Lowestoft earlier this year.
Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Dan Purvis were all in action at Waveney Gymnastics Centre in January.
Along with Sam Oldham the quartet sealed GB men’s first Olympic team medal since a bronze in 1912 last night.
Below is EDP reporter Mark Boggis’ report of their Lowestoft training in January. To see more, press play on this video or view the video at the top-right of this page.
- Star gymnasts from Team GB, Canada and Australia train in Lowestoft -
Top international gymnasts have vaulted into Lowestoft for a special open competition.
Star names from Great Britain, Canada and Australia’s men’s teams all simulated an informal competition last Thursday in preparation for the London test event, which acts as an Olympic qualifier, this week.
The GB men’s team need to finish in the top four of eight teams at the test event, which runs from January 10 to 18 at the O2 arena.
And ahead of this week’s action, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Daniel Purvis, Daniel Keatings, Ruslan Panteleymonov, Max Whitlock and reserve Sam Hunter limbered up for the London 2012 qualifier at Lowestoft’s world-class Waveney Gymnastics Centre since last Tuesday.
The Waveney club, which is a recognised London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp, has hosted the Gymnastics Australia squad since December 27, with the Canadians arriving in Lowestoft on New Year’s Day.
All three teams left Lowestoft on Saturday before heading to London for their last chance to qualify for this year’s Olympics.
Delighted with how everything had gone, Waveney Gymnastics Club Centre Manager, Chloe McMorran, said it had been a “very busy” but successful ten days.
“We are very happy with the outcome,” she said. “we have had meetings with both the Australian and Canadian delegations and when they qualify they will hopefully both be coming back in early July.
“They both seemed very, very keen, were impressed by the facilities and very happy with how it had gone,” she said.
Last Thursday afternoon, during a special open session for the local public, some of the world’s best gymnasts displayed their skills - with Louis Smith described by Waveney Gym Club chairman John Pawsey as “one of the top pommel horse workers in the world,” as the crowds marvelled at his talents (in this video).
“Louis finished third in the Beijing Olympics, has won many European and Grand Prix titles as a pommel horse worker - and this afternoon he is showcasing his skills in Lowestoft,” Pawsey said.
Impressed by the facilities and surroundings, Thomas Pichler - a dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist - said: “It has been great here in Lowestoft and we have had a productive training camp with our team of three gymnasts (which also includes Joshua Jefferis and Samuel Offord) as we look to secure places as individuals at the Olympics during the London test event.”
The Canadian team - like Team GB - will also be looking to secure their Olympic dream as a team during the test event. And former Olympic gold medallist, Canadian gymnast Kyle Shewfelt, is lending his expertise as a mentor to the national team.
He said: “The top eight international teams have already secured their places at the Olympics, and from what I have seen this week both the British team (who finished tenth at October’s World Championships) and the Canadian team (who finished 12th) are two of the teams who should qualify in the top four at the test event.”