Smith relishing a last hurrah

Congleton Guardian: Louis Smith hopes to qualify to represent England in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Louis Smith hopes to qualify to represent England in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

Louis Smith says a feeling of "unfinished business" has convinced him to reverse his earlier retirement plans and seek to sign off with another major gymnastics medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The triple Olympic medallist has not competed since winning individual silver and team bronze at London 2012 and admitted he had resigned himself to the fact that his days in the sport were done.

Smith said: "As far as I am concerned, should I qualify, this will be my last hurrah.

"The 2012 Olympics were everything to me and I believe that without the successes that I had there, my life could have taken a very different path over the last year and a half. So I can go to the Commonwealth Games knowing that whatever happens, I will have achieved everything I ever dreamt of in gymnastics.

"But I am an athlete and as has always been the case, I will be there in the pursuit of success. I'm not done with gymnastics yet. I have unfinished business. Should I qualify, the opportunity to compete on home turf again is one that I will relish".

Smith is one of the most successful British gymnasts of all time having also won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in Melbourne in 2006 and his first Olympic medal in Beijing two years later.

However the 24-year-old has acknowledged he faces a battle to make it back into the England team with a number of his former domestic rivals having excelled in his absence.

Max Whitlock took a silver medal in Smith's favoured pommel horse discipline at last year's World Championships in Antwerp, with Kristian Thomas winning bronze in the vault.

Smith went to Antwerp in his role as a co-commentator and also competed - and won - in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing television series during his time away from the sport.

Smith added: "Qualifying for Team England will be no easy feat. People may assume that my achievements to date will mean a place in the team however that couldn't be further from the case.

"The strength in depth in this country is at a level that it's never been before with a large number of hugely talented gymnasts all competing for places. I will have to earn my place on the team which is not going to be easy and even if I achieve the necessary standards, it will still come down to the selectors".

"If I don't make the team, then I can be proud that I have been a part of the success that has driven on these young gymnasts to reach higher standards and take the sport forward and I'll look forward to following and supporting them all at the Games.

"In any case, I look forward to getting back in the gym and keeping my gymnastic fitness at a level that I have become used to over the years."

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