EUROPEAN GYMNASTICS: Thomas looking forward to home advantage
LOCAL hope Kristian Thomas admits the European Gymnastics Championships represent a once in a lifetime opportunity - and he's determined to grab it.
UPBEAT: Great Britain's Kristian Thomas is looking ahead to the support of an expectant home crowd in Birmingham
The 21-year-old believes he can be a force to be reckoned with at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena next weekend, after finishing sixth in the all-around at the World Championships in London last year.
With no all-around event, Thomas will take to the floor, rings and bars with his performances also going along way to determining Britain's hopes of a team medal, alongside Olympic bronze medallist Louis Smith and world silver medallist Daniel Keatings.
His only previous visits to the NIA have been for pleasure but he insists the pursuit of a medal is all business, despite fears the competition could be delayed or even cancelled due to the ongoing European wide air restrictions.
"I've been to the NIA before but only to see gigs, so to be competing there will be brilliant," said Thomas, who hails from nearby Wolverhampton.
"I'm very excited to be given the chance to perform in front of a home crowd and I might never get the opportunity to in Birmingham again - especially at such a big competition.
"Floor is my best apparatus but I'm also hoping to make the final on the bar this time as that's something I've never done before."
- Kristian Thomas
"I've got some of my family and my friends coming to watch, as well as people from my local gym, so hopefully it will be a good experience.
"It can add to the pressure having so many people you know there but generally we've had a good run up to the competition and have prepared well for it.
"You can't change what's going to happen on the day but we've done the routines enough times to be able to give it a good go.
"Floor is my best apparatus but I'm also hoping to make the final on the bar this time, as that's something I've never done before."