After a rough qualification session first thing this morning, the British Men suffered a long and agonizing wait to hear their fate. Spectacularly uncharacteristic falls and slip ups from Kristian Thomas and Daniel Keatings brought the team score down. At the end of subdivision 5, they were ranking in 6th position with China, France, Canada, Australia and Korea still to compete. After subdivision 7, they slipped to 7th place.
As per the rules only the top 8 can qualify can automatically qualify to the London Olympics. Every team taking part here are competing with the same main aim – to qualify in the top 8 as those who place 9th to 16th must continue working hard and compete in London in January at the Test Event. Britain has not qualified a full men’s team for an Olympics since the Barcelona Games in 1992, and they are guaranteed only two gymnasts as the host nation.
The guys didn’t have their best day, I expected them to medal third on the podium in Team Finals or at least very close. This is the best and strongest MAG team they have ever had, showing signs of progression at each and every competition. I’m hugely disappointed for Daniel Keatings, one of my favourte, possibly most favourite male gymnasts. He’s worked so hard to recover from his ACL injury and I fully expected him to make at least an event final if not the AA final.
Maybe this isn’t the worst thing to happen, the team will definitely qualify in January and will probably be top of those competing for the 4 available spots. They will also have a chance to compete in the Olympic surrounding in the O2 Arena.
Today wasn’t all bad, Dan Purvis will compete in the All Around Final on Wednesday 12th and Louis Smithwill compete in the Pommel Horse Final on October 15th. However, should Smith win a medal in the final, he is not guaranteed a place in London under new FIG Rules. The rules state that if a gymnast does not qualify as part of a team, they must complete three apparatus – to within 85% of the average qualifying score on that apparatus in Tokyo – and then win a medal. Hard luck Louis.
Chin up boys, you can do better than this. Also joining Great Britain in January will be:
9. France 349.828
10. Great Britain 348.742
11. Spain 348.725
12. Canada 347.076
13. Brazil 346.626
14. Puerto Rico 344.460
15. Italy 343.642
16. Belarus 342.575