LOUIS CAN BOUNCE STRAIGHT BACK

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Bob French bob.french@jpress.co.uk

Louis Smith will bounce back from his Olympics heart­break and go for gold in Rio on Sun­day.

The 27 year-old Eye gym­nast was the ‘fall guy’ in Mon­day night’s men’s team fi­nal when he slipped off the pom­mel horse dur­ing his one and only rou­tine as Team GB pushed for a podium fin­ish.

Smith’s mark of 14.766 was far lower than any­thing he had pro­duced in re­cent years and Team GB fell out of medal con­tention and even­tu­ally fin­ished fourth be­hind Ja­pan, Rus­sia and China.

He’s back on the horse on Sun­day (7.30 pm) for the in­di­vid­ual fi­nal and Beth Twed­dle, Bri­tain’s most suc­cess­ful fe­male gym­nast, be­lieves Smith will bounce back with a bang.

The three-time world cham­pion is con­fi­dent Smith will not suf­fer any men­tal reper­cus­sions from the dis­ap­point­ment and will push his GB team-mate Max Whit­lock all the­way. At­last year’s World Cham­pi­onships, Whit­lock won gold and Smith sil­ver.

Twed­dle said: “Louis will pick him­self up again. He is in a great sit­u­a­tion now. He has a bit of time and will go back to the gym and work on where it went wrong.

“He will let his hair down, chill out and come back fight­ing. It will be a great bat­tle be­tween him and Max in that pom­mel fi­nal.

“Louis is a very ex­pe­ri­enced gym­nast. He has been around for 10 years on the se­nior cir­cuit. He know show to get him­self in that zone. It was un­for­tu­nate with that fall at the end. It’s dis­ap­point­ing as I know how hard he trains.”

Smith has won three Olympic medals-in­di­vid­ual bronze in Bei­jing and in­di­vid­ual sil­ver and team bronze in Lon­don - and is des­per­ate to com­plete the full set.

He said Rio would prove his most “pas­sion­ate” Games yet —be­cause he wants to win for his mother, who brought him up as a sin­gle par­ent.

“The older I’ve got, the more it sinks in how much she had to do for me. It’s just in­cred­i­ble, it in­spires me ev­ery day.”

A de­jected Louis Smith af­ter fall­ing off his horse on Mon­day.

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