Louis Smith into European final on GB comeback

By David McDaidBBC Olympic sports reporter in Montpellier
Louis Smith
Louis Smith won pommel bronze for England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games
Artistic Gymnastics European Championships
Dates: 15-19 April Venue: Montpellier, France
BBC coverage: Friday, 17 April 13:00-15:00 BST on BBC Two and 17:30-20:15 BST on Red Button. Saturday, 18 April 13:00-15:30 BST on BBC One (14:20 in Scotland). Sunday, 19 April 13:30-16:00 BST on BBC Two.

Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith qualified top for the European pommel final in his first appearance for Britain since the London 2012 Games.

Smith, who came out of retirement last year after winning the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, scored 15.8.

Dan Purvis and Sam Oldham both made it through to Friday's all-around final.

However, world silver medallist Max Whitlock's European Championships are over after he failed to qualify for the final of either pommel or floor.

The 22-year-old, who skipped the all-around event because of the effects of illness, had an appeal against his pommel score of 14.733 rejected.

Whitlock, who has won Olympic, world and European honours on pommel, felt that he was unfairly marked for his routine - a decision which may have cost him up to a full point.

Sam Oldham
Sam Oldham already has three European Championship medals to his name

But Smith, 25, made a strong case for a podium place in the final.

"It's been a while trying to prove myself in every competition and fortunately I've made the final, which I'm very happy about," he told BBC Sport in Montpellier.

"It's job half-done. I just have to focus on my routine and, if I do it well, then the chances of me getting a medal are quite high - but I don't focus on the medals."

Purvis and Oldham qualified third and eighth respectively for the all-around final.

"I'm really happy to get to the final; I just had one hand out of place on the vault," Purvis said.

"Hopefully I can be among the medals There are five or six people who can go close so I'm pretty positive."

As well as the all-around, Oldham is in the final of the high bar final, where he has won European silver for the last two years.

Oldham is in his first major international since a serious ankle injury at the Commonwealth Games in July.

"High bar is the event where I'd be looking to medal, realistically," said Oldham.

"But I'm just happy to be out here competing, back in the mix and doing all six apparatus again."

Kristian Thomas joins Oldham in the high bar final and will also challenge for medals in vault and floor.

Courtney Tulloch on rings completes the list of British finalists.