Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Olympic Gymnastics Team Final


After a 100 year wait, the British Men’s Gymnastics Team have just written a new chapter in the history book of our sport by claiming Bronze in the Men’s team final; for a fleeting moment it was actually Silver, until a successful appeal from the Japanese team that saw them elevated into second position.

In front of a very noisy and patriotic home crowd, the GB team of Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Daniel Purvis, Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham put in an outstanding performance to secure the bronze medal. This was narrowly ahead of Ukraine who themselves have improved enormously in this Olympic cycle with a very talented young team.

The usual Gymnastics powerhouses of the USA, Russia, Germany and France finished 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th respectively but just made too many major errors in the first couple of rotations and were always chasing the top four teams. Let’s not underestimate these great nations though as I am sure they will bounce back even stronger.

The outstanding performances of the day had to go to Louis Smith who yet again performed his extremely difficult routine flawlessly to score 15.966, a score that could really secure him an individual Gold next Sunday. Also outstanding was Daniel Purvis for executing his difficult Floor routine in the final rotation and under immense pressure to score 15.533. But I really do have to take my hat off yet again to Kristian Thomas who at this moment in time is in the form of his life and put in outstanding performances on Rings 14.433, Vault 16.550 (which was the highest score of the competition), High Bar 15.200 and, under immense pressure on Floor, Kris needed to nail the final routine of the day to secure a medal and he did just that with a huge score of 15.433 to claim the Bronze medal.

British Gymnastics has now won a medal at every major championships in this Olympic cycle since Beijing and our history book now has so many new chapters – OUR SPORT REALLY IS HEALTHY and YES, IT CAN STILL GET BETTER :-)


Cheers, Dan

Sunday, 29 July 2012

What a day for British Gymnastics at the Olympic Qualifications!

Men’s Artistic Gymnastics Qualifications

After months of preparation it was time for the GB men to show the world how far we have advanced as a gymnastics nation since Louis Smith’s historic bronze medal in Beijing.

GB were up in the first session and put in an awesome display in front of a noisy home crowd to finish leading the team qualifications and ahead of the reigning Olympic team champions China. The whole team performed exceptionally but would still have to wait for another two sessions before knowing their fate, not only as a team but individually as well, especially with some strong teams still to come.

By the end of the final session it was confirmed that the GB men didn't just perform well, but they blew away the competition! With it went some of the gymnastics powerhouses including: China, Japan and Germany to finish third. Individually they also performed very well - Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis qualified for the All Around final, Louis Smith and Max Whitlock for the Pommel final, and Kristian Thomas for the Vault final.

My stand out performances of the day had to be Louis Smith and Kristian Thomas. Louis because he performed an exceptionally difficult Pommel routine to score 15.8 and top the qualifications for the Pommel final, all this while under immense pressure and expectation from the British public. Kristian Thomas proved yet again just how good and consistent an All Around gymnast he is - not only did he qualify in 5th for the All Around final but he has also became the first British gymnast to beat the exceptionally talented Kohei Uchimura in an All Around competition. On top of this Kris also qualified in 5th for the Vault final and narrowly missed out on a High Bar final finishing 9th and a Floor final finishing 11th.

Now bring on the finals – c’mon GB!

Cheers, Dan

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Dan is always on the move - whether it's attending sporting events or going training overseas! This week, Dan tells his readers about his favorite things to pack in his suitcase when he's on the go.

1. iPad: There are a lot of times when I'm waiting around in airports, or facing a long train or bus journey. So having my iPad with me is really useful, because I can watch videos, go online, listen to music or just read to pass the time.

2. Playstation: Kicking back with my Playstation is sometimes all I need after a long hard day of training. Taking it with me overseas makes it easy for me to just plug and play when I want to!

3. My kit bag: My kit bag contains all my hand guards, strapping, chalk etc., and is an absolute must-have. I wouldn't be able to train without it!

4. Maximuscle Nutrition: This helps me to train longer and harder. It's also responsible for helping me to maintain my competitive edge throughout the competition.

5. Travel Adapters: I need at least 5 of these with me any time I travel! Because I have so many gadgets, chargers and the like, I don't know what I'll be able to do without them.

Hope you found this interesting!

Cheers, Dan

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Dan's Top 5: Getting into sports

Welcome to the second round of Dan's Top 5! This week, Dan shares his Top 5 tips for people who want to get into sports.

1. Don't be afraid to try new things: When you're just starting out, try more than just one sport. Doing this will expose you to many different areas, and you could end up being really passionate about something you never thought you would.

2. Choose something you enjoy: When you do choose a sport, make sure that it is something that you enjoy. Because you're going to be spending a lot of time doing something and if you don't like what you're doing, you're never going to feel as satisfied.

3. Set yourself realistic targets & goals: It's very important to be practical when you're setting your targets. Setting goals that you don't have a realistic chance of achieving can cause you to lose both time and morale.

4. Be prepared to work hard: A strong will is just as important as being physically fit. There will be times when you'll have to really push yourself and go the extra mile when you least feel like it, so make sure that you're ready to commit to that,

5. Get a strong support system: When you're starting something new, there will be times when you need a confidence boost. Friends and family are incredibly important for this, so surround yourself with people who want the best for you.

These tips have helped me to get by, so I hope they do the same for you!

Cheers, Dan