Smith focused on Glasgow Games
Triple Olympic medallist Louis Smith is back in gymnastics but admits he's looking no further than this summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The 24-year-old star of Strictly Come Dancing made his return to competitive action at the English championships earlier this month and claimed second place on the pommel horse behind overall champion Max Whitlock.
For Smith, a man who has become just as famous for waltzing to victory in the BBC dancing show as he did for winning team bronze and pommel horse silver at the London Olympics, this weekend's British Gymnastics championships in Liverpool mark the final chance for him to make sure he leaves the sport on his own terms.
Smith missed out on individual gold at London 2012 in agonising fashion despite scoring the same tariff as Hungary's Krisztian Berki due to scoring rules, but success in Scotland this July is his final aim to cap a career as Britain's most successful Olympic gymnast to date.
To do that he will need to impress the selectors in the final trial at Liverpool, but the Peterborough-born gymnast is confident he can do so on the pommel horse and parallel bars.
"I always felt capable. I always felt like I could mix it with the best in the world," Smith told Press Association Sport.
"I thought 'Do you know what, you get one chance to do sport and in 10 years time I won't get to do this again'. I don't want regrets so I thought I would get back into training and see what I can do."
Smith left himself a mountain to climb to make his return at the top level, though, only going back to the gym in January after a year-and-a-half out of the sport.
"It's definitely given me a challenge," he said. "If I had too much time I might have got a bit complacent but there hasn't been any time for that.
"I've had to be in the gym and working my socks off every day. Each day gets closer to the trials and the Commonwealth Games and it's been really motivational knowing that I've not got long at all. I've kind of shot myself in the foot a little bit but at the same time it's helped me keep that mentality going and keep me focused.
"I scored 15.700 in my first competition back, the world champion only got 15.800 at the world championships last year so I'm obviously doing something right."
Despite his eagerness to return to competition, Smith confirmed if he does qualify for Glasgow it will be the last time he puts his leotard on in anger.
"I don't think anything after the Commonwealth Games would be realistic with the commitments I've got in London and the projects I'm working on," he added.
"At best I will still be able to keep training and ticking over but I won't be able to compete and get competition ready after the Commonwealth Games.
"It will definitely be hard to say goodbye. All goodbyes are hard. Who knows, in six years I might want to make a comeback and compete for Jamaica in the Olympic Games. Who knows what's going to happen?"
Aiming to put Smith in the shade, among a long list of rich talent, will be double Olympic medallist and defending British champion Whitlock, a 21-year-old from Hemel Hempstead who is aiming to compete the hardest pommel horse routine in the world at the championships.
Whitlock said: "At the worlds last year I got the highest start score which has ever been competed on the pommel horse which was 7.2 and that's something that I'm very proud of.
"I'm still pushing and I competed the 7.3 at the English. I've been competing a 7.4 and I'm hoping to compete that at the British.
"It's hard. The higher skills you have the more risk factor there is, but if you can pull it off hopefully you will get a good score. The triple Russian is one of them and also the Busnari. Hopefully I can get those in there and do them well."
In the women's competition, Ruby Harrold will be aiming to add the British crown to her English title.