Telegraph Sports Notebook – Keatings deserves a place

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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This time next week, Daniel Keatings will know whether he will be a member of the Great Britain men’s gymnastics team for the Olympic Games in London.

And if he is selected, there will be more than one reason to celebrate.

Keatings, of course, has already tasted the Olympics having competed in Beijing four years ago. But to be chosen again for a Games in front of your own crowd would sure be at the top of every competitor’s wish list.

But his selection would also be the culmination of a fine fightback from injuries over the past year or so.

It has been a frustrating time for the Corby gymnast as he was forced to battle back from a severe knee injury and, just recently, he has come back from an ankle injury.

He showed he is coming back to his best form at the British Championships in Liverpool – the final Olympic trial – as he secured bronze in the all-around event and then won the parallel bars.

He spoke after the all-around competition of knowing it will be a “close call” for him to get into the Olympic squad.

He said: “I just hope I’ve done enough to get on the team but with the talent in the squad, I know it’s going to be a close call.”

It’s understandable that Keatings is staying level-headed about the situation but there surely can’t be any doubt that he deserves his place.

And if the selectors are thinking about medal hopes and the ability to perform on the big stage then Keatings fits the bill.

He made history in becoming the first British gymnast to win a medal in the all-round event at the World Championships when he took silver in London in 2009 and he has had numerous honours since – not least Britain’s first-ever senior European Championship gold on the pommel horse a year later.

Keatings, one or Corby’s favourite sons, has been there and done it.

There is no doubt in my mind he will be selected and if he is, don’t be surprised if he goes and wins a medal or two in London.