Having missed the first round of the Champions trophy through injury, I went into the second round in Berlin still not quite knowing what to expect. Three days ahead of the competition I had been asked to supply the broadcasters with a battle quote that would be broadcast live during the competition. They had also asked me to be as inventive as possible with something along the lines of “let’s get ready to rumble”. Suddenly I had visions of a Gladiators arena.
When I arrived in Berlin the first thing I had to do was to meet the broadcasters and record my battle quote, only now they had changed their mind and wanted me to play the role of the bad boy threatening to ‘crush’ the National Hero Fabian Hambuchen. Even though I could see the funny side, I had to refuse as I had visions of the crowd turning on me!
The competition was brilliant and the broadcasters put on a really good show making it very exciting for the audience. The format was not something I had seen before in gymnastics but I really hope it takes off.
I was a little nervous ahead of the competition as I was trying out some new routines for the first time, but it couldn’t have started any better. I put in a solid routine on Floor, Pommel and Rings that saw me leading after three apparatus with Maxim Devyatovski (RUS) in 2nd and Fabian Hambuchen (GER) in 3rd, (I am so glad I didn”t threaten to ‘crush him!’) But Fabian began to pull back the competition on the vault.
Next was the Pommel Bars and unfortunately I slipped right at the start of my routine, something I have never done before and it cost me dearly as my position slipped to 3rd. Moving onto the last and final apparatus, the High Bar, we all put in solid routines that confirmed the final positions.
1. Fabian Hambuchen (GER)
2. Maxim Devyatovski (RUS)
3. Daniel Keatings (GBR)
The final rankings and the winner of the Champions trophy is not decided until all four competitions have finished. Points are awarded for your position after each stage; similar to the Formula 1 championship. So even though I missed the first competition I am still sitting in 5th place in the Championship table.
to the World Championships I am feeling strong, confident and prepared.