Left off Great Britain's 2012 Olympic team, British star Daniel Keatings is revealing his shock and anger over the surprise selection.
Left off Great Britain's team for the Olympci Games in London, British star Daniel Keatings is revealing his shock and anger over the surprise selection.
"I had fulfilled the selection criteria on numerous occasions and I thought I had done enough," Keatings told British media Wednesday. "I was told of the decision a week ago and it was like the life and energy had been sucked out of me. It was very emotional."
On Wednesday, British Gymnastics officially announced that Sam Oldham, Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas and Max Whitlock would represent the host nation this summer in London. Keatings is a reserve athlete.
"The anger has kicked in because I want to prove I was supposed to be in that team," he told the BBC.
Along with Huntingdon clubmate Smith, Keatings has led the British men's team rapid rise over the past four years with historic performances. In 2008, Keatings swept in a new era for the British men with four gold medals at the Junior Europeans in Lausanne. He made history yet again with the all-around silver at the 2009 World Championships at the Olympic arena in London. At the 2010 Europeans, he led Britain to the team silver medal and captured the gold medal on pommel horse over Smith.
Keatings suffered a torn ACL a few weeks later, keeping him out of the 2010 Worlds. He returned to competition at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo, where he and his teammates crumbled under the pressure of Olympic qualification. The team stumbled to 10th, missing out on direct qualification to the Olympics. At the second Olympic qualification event, held in January in London, Keatings helped Great Britain win the team competition and secure one of the four remaining Olympic berths.
However, an injured ankle kept Keatings out of May's European championships in Montpellier, where Purvis, Smith, Thomas, Ruslan Panteleymonov and Whitlock won the team gold for Great Britain, yet another historic success for British gymnastics.
Keatings returned at June's British championships in Liverpool, placing third all-around behind Purvis and Oldham and winning the gold medal on parallel bars. But it wasn't enough to convince the selection committee he should be placed on the team. After the team was revealed last week, Keatings unsuccessfully appealed the selection to the British Olympic Committee.
"I appealed on the basis that my results have achieved certain scores so many more times than others and that I was one of the best chances for an individual medal," he said, "but unfortunately that was rejected and they said they had considered my results in the selections."
Keatings said he will not further his appeal but will continue training as an alternate to the five-member squad.
"I've got to keep training," he said. "I don't wish it on anybody, but if anyone does get injured I'll get the nod, so I have to make sure I'm fit and ready."
Keatings, 22, said he has resigned to his fate and is aiming make the team to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"I want to go through this next Olympic cycle, hopefully doing well in every competition," Keatings said. "I'm going to work so hard in the gym to up my routines and try and achieve some great results and basically prove that I should have been there (in London). I wish the team all the best and I'll be supporting them all the way and I hope they achieve some great things. I'm going to try and smash up the next four years and hopefully have more luck with no injuries and do a job in Rio."
The omission of Keatings comes on the heels of soccer superstar David Beckham's exclusion from Britain's Olympic squad. Beckham had been selected to carry the country's flag at the opening ceremonies on July 27.
External Link: Daniel Keatings Official Website