DAN Keatings took his chance to impress selectors ahead of next month’s European Championships after he won two masters titles on the final day of the British Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool.
Scotland’s Keatings added to his three senior golds earned on the pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar on Saturday with a masters double – which are apparatus finals competed by senior, junior and youth age categories – with victory on the pommel and parallel bars.
The 2009 all-around world silver medallist, who missed out on a place in Great Britain’s five-man Olympic squad last summer, showed his intent to avoid becoming the forgotten man of British gymnastics when he pipped newly crowned British all-around champion Max Whitlock to the pommel horse title in the morning session, before beating Whitlock again to parallel bars gold.
The Huntingdon Olympic club gymnast then stuttered on high bar as Whitlock and first-year senior Frank Baines shared the masters crown. However, Keatings is likely to have still done enough to regain his place in the men’s squad for the European tournament which takes place in Moscow, 18-21 April.
Keatings’ form will provide a much-needed boost for selectors as all-around star Kristian Thomas has been ruled out of the competition due to injury.
Sam Oldham also made a final bid for one of the six places in the men’s team in Moscow when he won the masters floor title ahead of Whitlock, while Theo Seager powered to gold on rings and the vault. It was a difficult day for Southport’s Daniel Purvis, who won team bronze with Britain at London 2012, after he failed to land his rings routine, sat down a vault and was below par on the floor, but he did win bronze on the pommel horse.
In the women’s competition, Niamh Rippin claimed the senior vault title to add to her bronze all-around medal from yesterday, but 31-year-old Lisa Mason, who launched a comeback after 13 years out of the sport earlier this year, finished sixth.