KRISTIAN Thomas believes British Gymnastics is facing a bright future after a stunning Olympics.
The 23-year-old Earls Gymnastics Club ace played a major role as Britain took bronze in the men’s all-around team event last week, while he also finished seventh in the individual competition and made the final of the vault.
There were further individual medals for Louis Smith, Max Whitlock and Beth Tweddle as Britain announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.
Thomas believes they will get only stronger in the years to come as the next generation of gymnasts emerge — and he is expecting a by Matt Maher fight to make the team for Rio 2016.
He said: “As long as we stay grounded I think we have a very good future ahead of us.
“The depth we are starting to get in the British team now is unbelievable.
“There are great gymnasts coming through all the time and that can only bode well.
“I know it’s going to be a struggle to keep making the team but it means whatever squad we put out in the future will be strong.”
One gymnast who will be vying for a place in the British squad over the coming years is Dominick Cunningham, another talent produced by the Earls.
Members of the Furnace Lane club have gathered during each of Thomas’ performances to roar him on.
The Team GB star, who has trained at the club since the age of five, thanked coaches Michelle and Ryan Bradley and club chairman John Caulwell for their support.
He said: “When this whole experience is over I will be coming back to thank them for everything they have done for me.
“It was great Michelle could be there to see the team win the bronze and share the experience.
“Earls is only a small club and we have been struggling for so long.
“Hopefully this success will help in some way. Everyone involved at the club deserves to have it run in the best possible way.”
Thomas will remain in the Olympic Village before attending Sunday’s closing ceremony and says the experience of the last two weeks will stay with him forever.
He said: “The whole thing has been absolutely amazing.
“We made history and the fact we did it on home soil makes it all the more special.
“Coming into the Olympics we would have been happy with a top five finish so to get the bronze was incredible.
“It’s been great to play a part in promoting the sport.
“I really don’t think it could have gone any better and the experience is one I will remember for the rest of my life.”