Smith scores personal best as Great Britain impress at European Gymnastics
LOUIS Smith produced a stand-out display as Great Britain qualified to Saturday's team final at the European Gymnastics Championships in top place.
IMPRESSIVE: Olympic bronze medallist Louis Smith scored a major championship best of 15.900 on the pommel horse at the European Championships (Getty Images)
Olympic bronze medallist Smith nailed his routine on the pommel horse, scoring 15.900, his best-ever performance at a major championship.
But he later claimed the real star of the five-man team in Montpellier was Daniel Purvis.
He recovered from a fall on the opening apparatus, he wiped out a judge after making a hash of his vault, with a superb all-round display on the remaining apparatus,
He contributed 86.764 to Great Britain's 265.718 total, which ranked them just ahead of Russia and Germany in second and third place.
“I’m quite happy and relieved with my routine but the focus is on the team, it’s nice to compete it for them," said Smith.
"However, Dan was the hero for us, he looked like a ghost this morning, and he’s just smashed out his routines, he’s an unbelievable guy."
Purvis executed a highly-difficult parallel bars routine, was faultless on the high bar and but for one tiny step forward foot perfect in an immaculate floor performance.
He then rounded off a hectic afternoon with solid displays on the pommel horse and rings and received the glowing praise of remaining team-mates Max Whitlock, Ruslan Panteyleymonov and Kristian Thomas.
“I had a really bad night’s sleep and was quite ill, so didn’t even know if I’d compete," he admitted.
"On the vault I had to battle to keep myself focussed, I landed and ended up on the floor, I didn’t know what had happened but actually it woke me up a bit.
"My teammates, coaches and the physio were great and stuck by me and that filled me with confidence and drive to carry on.
"I’m really happy to have battled back and contributed to the team results - now I need rest and an ice-cream."
© Sportsbeat 2012