Keatings suffers GB selection blow

Dan Keatings's hopes of Olympic qualification suffered another setback after he was omitted from Great Britain's gymnastics European Championship team.


Keatings was always up against it to earn his place after recently injuring his ankle ligaments during training, the latest in a long line of setbacks for the 2009 world all-round silver medallist.

Olympic pommel horse bronze medallist Louis Smith will travel to Montpellier despite a recent broken finger and will be joined by British champion Dan Purvis, a former world floor bronze medallist.

They are joined by experienced team members Kristian Thomas and Ruslan Panteyleymonov, along with Max Whitlock, who having travelled as reserve to the 2011 World Championships, now finds his place in the senior team.

Keatings is not the only injury absence, Youth Olympic champion Sam Oldham is also sidelined.

"These European Championships serve as an important challenge ahead of the Olympic Games and an opportunity for our senior team members to promote their performance on the world stage," said coach Eddie Van Hoof.

"We have a very strong squad and with Sam Oldham and Dan Keatings ever improving fitness levels we will have a great depth to select from in the summer."

British Gymnastics performance director Tim Jones is trying to stay upbeat in the Olympic countdown but injuries are causing some concern.

Three-time world champion Beth Tweddle will miss the women's European Championships as she continues her recovery from keyhole knee surgery.

“As long as I can prove my fitness to selectors, and they’re confident I’m able to produce a result for the team, then I don’t think there’s any issues," she insisted.

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