Olympic Games - GB male gymnasts 'could snatch Olympic medal'

Tue, 24 Jul 08:47:00 2012

Great Britain gymnast Kristian Thomas believes the men's team are dark horses for a medal at London 2012, warning the big guns they will be ready to pounce on any slip-ups.

Kristian Thomas of Britain performs on the horizontal bar in the Men's Artistic Qualification during the International Gymnastics competition (Reuters) - 0

Thomas, 23, was part of the British quintet that won European gold in May and while he will harbour hopes of individual success at London 2012, it is the team event where his best chance of silverware lies.

In claiming the scalps of Russia and previous European champions Germany, Thomas and co established themselves as ruling the continental roost this year, but on the Olympic stage Japan, China and the USA will provide the acid test.

Thomas is only too aware of the threat posed by the three teams that filled the Olympic podiums in Beijing with China top of the pile, but he's convinced Great Britain can ruffle a few feathers this summer.

"A clean routine is all we want to do," said Thomas. "If we can go out there and hit our routines, then who knows? But obviously we've got to be careful now in the gym and dig deep.

"We might expect the unexpected and cause a few upsets. We're European champions going into this, but obviously we've got the Americans, Chinese and Japanese, who are the main medal contenders.

"We just need to go in there, do our best and hit our clean routines. I'm sure we'll come away with smiles on our faces anyway."

Across the board Great Britain will be looking to exploit home advantage - a factor that experts say leads to an average increase of 25 per cent in terms of medals won at an Olympics - but gymnastics is among the sports where it could be felt most.

Gymnastics, along with sports such as boxing, diving and synchronised swimming, is subject to judges' interpretations and there have been instances in the past where home advantage has its say.

But Thomas insists he's not worried about the affect the crowd will have - apart from his onlooking family members.

"Different judges can have different opinions on different routines because it's a sport where, unfortunately, things like that can happen," he added.

"Luckily, my family managed to get some tickets, so I've got a few of them coming down to the qualification and hopefully, if we progress after that, then they've managed to get tickets in the following rounds as well.  It'll be great to have them there with me."

Sportsbeat / Sportsbeat

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