Glasgow 2014: Scotland's Daniel Keatings relishing England rivalry

Daniel Keatings

2014 British Gymnastics Championships

Venue:
Echo Arena, Liverpool
Date:
29 March - senior all-around finals; 30 March - senior apparatus finals.

Scottish gymnast Daniel Keatings says the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow can be "the Olympics I never had".

Keatings, 24, missed London 2012 with injury having been a leading member of the British team in the build-up.

He faces English rivals including Louis Smith in this weekend's British Championships in Liverpool, a key selection event for Glasgow 2014.

"It'll be awesome competing against England. There's already a good bit of banter in training," said Keatings.

As the reigning European champion on pommel horse, Keatings is set to form an accomplished Scotland line-up alongside Dan Purvis, the 2010 world bronze medallist on floor and a member of GB's bronze medal-winning men's team at London 2012.

They are likely to be joined by 18-year-old Frank Baines, who moves into the senior ranks this year.

"It's a strong Scotland team," Keatings told BBC Sport. "Frank is the junior European champion and is really hard-working. He's making sure me and Dan Purvis are on our toes.

"I'm really excited to compete in Glasgow. It's like the Olympics I never had."

The British Championships are also an important Commonwealth Games stepping stone for Olympic silver medallist Smith, who continues his gymnastics comeback.

Smith and Keatings are close friends who trained together for more than a decade before London 2012.

Smith spent a year away from the sport after his silver medal on the pommel horse - an event Keatings, who was not selected after struggling with ankle damage, watched from the sidelines.

"I always knew Louis would come back," said the Scot. "It felt like he had unfinished business. It's good to see him back."

England's Rebecca Tunney sets out to recapture the British women's title this weekend having missed 2013's event through injury.

Tunney became the British champion in 2012 aged just 15, and went on to star as the youngest member of Team GB at her home Olympics.

"I've definitely matured since then. I understand more about the sport - it was all a bit overwhelming at the time and it went over my head," Tunney told BBC Sport.

"This weekend will give everyone a taste of what they need to work on, and what chance they've got to be in that Commonwealths team."

England and GB gymnasts Ruby Harrold and Hannah Whelan will also compete in Liverpool, while Raer Theaker is the top Welsh prospect.

England's Gabby Jupp will not defend her 2013 all-around title as she returns from ligament damage, but will take part in individual apparatus events.

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