British gymnastics team reveal delight at London 2012 qualification
Friday, 13 January 2012
January 13 - Following their qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games at the North Greenwich Arena test event on Tuesday (January 10), the Team GB men's gymnastics coach, Eddie Van Hoof, and Dan Keatings have revealed their delight at their progress.
The pressure was on following a poor showing when they could have qualified at the World Championships in Tokyo last October, but coach Van Hoof felt their performance deserved praise.
"I'm very pleased with the performance and relieved," said van Hoof.
"The team really didn't do themselves justice at Tokyo so this is a bit of redemption and putting nightmares to rest.
"A bit of a break [has been earned].
"It's not just the gymnasts that have suffered but their families as well.
"There'll be a training camp in Cancun towards the end of this month.
"Then we will be full on in preparation for the Europeans [European Championships 2012 in Montpellier, France] in May and the Olympic Games."
Keatings (pictured) was impressed with his own performance but admitted the backing of the home crowd made a difference in securing qualification for London 2012.
"It was amazing, especially the support from the home crowd," said the 2010 European pommel horse champion.
"We had to pull together as a team after Tokyo and over the Christmas period.
"But the crowd really lifted us.
"They were amazing.
"We had to prove we deserve to be at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
"We've come here today, pulled together as a team and put in a great performance.
"It's every athlete's dream, especially in front of the home country but I don't want to jinx anything.
"It will still be a fight to get on the team.
"I've got butterflies in my stomach.
"I can't believe we achieved that performance.
"We came together as a team.
"We stayed together as a team over Christmas which meant we missed out on loads of treats but it paid off.
"We had to pull together strongly.
"It felt great, it felt like a family.
"It shows the strength we have in the team.
"Our performance will give us an extra boost.
"We are looking forward to the Olympics, I'm really confident.
"I always knew this was a good luck arena.
"I knew we could do it.
"We've still got a lot to do.
"But it's amazing how far British gymnastics has come on."
Their qualification means Team GB has a full male squad qualified for the Olympics for the first time since Barcelona 1992.
January 2012: North Greenwich Arena hits the right note as Britain's men qualify for London 2012