London Spy

British medal hopes: Daniel Keatings

London Spy

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Keatings on the parallel bars at the 2010 Euros

Fate smiled on Daniel Keatings more than most British athletes the day London was announced as the host city of the 2012 Olympics.

Competing in front of your own fans can provide a huge advantage when it comes to the Olympic Games and for this particular all-round artistic gymnast there is no place like home.

The 22-year-old has picked up medals all over the world, but it was only when international competitions came to Britain that he really started to show big-stage pedigree.

In London in 2009 Keatings rewrote gymnastics history by becoming the first British man to win a medal in the all-around event at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, claiming a hugely impressive silver medal to stun his rivals.

The Scot rose to the occasion with a stunning performance in front of 10,000 fans at the North Greenwich Arena, the same venue in which gymnastics will be held at London 2012.

The following year the European Championships came to Britain, to Birmingham, and Keatings once again excelled. He wrote his name into the history books for a second time by becoming Britain's first senior European champion with victory on the pommel horse, edging training partner Louis Smith into second place.

Keatings' introduction to gymnastics was unconventional. His father, encouraging a future in kickboxing, thought gymnastics could aid his son's development as a fighter.

However, his natural ability as a gymnast meant his focus soon switched and if Keatings can respond to the partisan crowd at London 2012, a medal is well within his reach.

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