Blog: Dan Keatings goes to the European Championships

6th April

After my recent success at the London Open I was feeling confident. My preparations for the British Team Championships were going really well and ‘Team Huntingdon’ were again favourites to defend the British Team title. We have won for the last three years and were really looking forward to making it a fourth. The Championships would also be the final qualifier for selection onto the European team, so it was important we all put in a good performance.

Thursday 25th March

Just two days before the competition our final preparations were going well. We had a good morning session, putting the final touches to our routines and selected which gymnasts were going to compete on each of the apparatus. During afternoon our focus was purely on the apparatus we had the most errors on.

Personally my apparatus was the Parallel Bars. Everything was going well until a slightly misjudged somersault ended up dislocating two of my fingers in my right hand!

As you can imagine it was pretty painful. I went on to finish my training for the day, but my position on the team was now in doubt.

Friday 26th March

With swollen, strapped together fingers I tried out some easier routines on the Pommel Horse, Floor and Vault hoping to still have an important role in the team. It was very painful but manageable and my scores were still high enough to make a difference so we decided to go with them.”

Saturday 27th March

We were up against some very strong teams and we needed clean routines if Team Huntingdon were to retain the title. We got off to a good start with some great routines on Floor, Pommel Horse, Rings and Vault. Unfortunately due to a couple of errors on Parallel Bars and High Bar we lost our title to South Essex, leaving us in a respectable 2nd position ahead of Hinckley, who had a very strong team.

And I have some other news…British Gymnastics has announced that I have been selected to represent the British team for the European Championships! I will be performing alongside fellow Huntingdon gymnast Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Daniel Purvis, Sam Hunter and Ruslan Pantelemonov.

Next week we are all back training at Lilleshall as a team, ahead of a test competition in Switzerland.

Speak to you all soon!