sport

Thomas looking to make his mark

Gymnast Kristian Thomas is bidding to end his Olympic medal-winning year with a flourish at this weekend's Glasgow World Cup.

Thomas, 23, was part of the five-strong British men's group who won the country's first gymnastics Olympic team medal in a century at London 2012, with his ice-cool, clean floor routine confirming their place in the history books under tremendous pressure.

However, despite being nicknamed "Mr Consistency" for the quality of his routines, Thomas has been feeling nervous about his return to competitive action, with last weekend's World Cup meeting in Stuttgart his first event since the Games.

The Wolverhampton-born gymnast finished in seventh place, behind fellow Olympic bronze medallist Daniel Purvis who came second, and admitted he was surprised to be overcome by the occasion and feel his nerves jangling.

"That was my first competition back so it was a bit overwhelming actually and a bit nervewracking at the time, so I'm glad I've got that out of the way now," Thomas said.

"Hopefully it will settle the nerves (for Glasgow) and I will be able to put in a better performance.

"It was a good ice breaker to get myself back into the swing of things and dust off the cobwebs.

"Obviously there is a bit more pressure on us now to get a result so this weekend, knowing I've got that out of the way, I will be better.

"When you're training for the Olympics, all of the time you're working and dealing with the pressure and doing control competitions. We haven't really had anything like that yet. It was a lot more nervewracking than I thought it would be."

Thomas took a month out from training following the end of the Olympic Games, and due to the strength and complexity of his combinations and routines, it took him a further six weeks to re-master all of his medal-winning skills.

He is confident he will be able to compete with the world-class field at Glasgow's new Emirates arena, which includes Purvis, Germany's Olympic all-around silver medallist Marcel Nguyen and Olympic all-around bronze medallist Danell Leyva of the United States.

"I'm in pretty good shape now and I've managed to get all of my routines back," Thomas said.

"I'm doing all of the same routines as I did at the Games. Obviously they are not the finished article and are not as polished as they were at the Olympics as that was months and months of preparation, but my fitness is up there.

"It is a very good field. The top end of gymnastics is so close that one mistake makes a massive difference. It is another opportunity to compete against the best in the world and prove why I am there competing with them. I'm looking forward to it."

Olympian Rebecca Tunney will compete alongside fellow Briton Niamh Rippin for the women's title, with both coming up against the experience of Italy's Vanessa Ferrari and Germany's Kim Bui and Elisabeth Seitz in the eight-strong field.