Smith expects tense countdown
Louis Smith is ready for some "name-calling" to commence in the Great Britain men's gymnastics team ahead of selection for the London Olympics.
Smith, who won bronze in the men's pommel horse at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has enjoyed a successful year so far having claimed a silver medal at the World Cup in China this month despite competing with a broken finger.
The 22-year-old from Peterborough though still has work to do to secure a place at London 2012 and while he suggested the spirit in the men's group was stronger than it has previously been, he expects the tension to go up a few notches between now and the Games starting.
Smith, a UPS London 2012 ambassador, said: "The spirit is good, everyone gets on well. Everyone's training a lot more in harmony now. We all get together a lot more. As a team we gel a lot better.
"But we've got 13 boys all competing for a team which holds five people. Closer to the time there's going to be a lot of feelings flying around and name-calling and there's going to be a lot of grittiness going to go down but everyone gets on well."
Smith played down his silver medal in China, insisting the injury was never going to prevent him from competing.
"I was able to go out there and train a day after being told I had a fractured finger. It's fine, it's all a bit of hype," he said.
"We're soldiers, us athletes, we're not strangers to a bit of pain. We strap it up, we get on with the job, no harm done.
"I did a new routine. I flew all the way to China, got jet-lagged, I ended up getting ill and a fractured finger, but I battled against all odds and came away with second so I was pleased.
"It's a real balancing act. You can say that if you do too much you can get injured; if you do too little you can get injured."
Smith has described next month's European Championships in Montpellier as a "stepping stone" to the Olympics and said of the continental event: "I'm not looking to go there and win. Obviously the main goal is the Olympic Games.
"So I want to go there, try out my new routine, poke a few competitors, and try to get a few of them nerve-wracking. It's all good preparation for the Olympics."