Sam Oldham blog

Sky Academy Sports Scholarships: Sam Oldham reflects on European Championships success

Last Updated: 10/06/14 2:26pm

Sam Oldham: Picked up two silver medals in Sofia

Sam Oldham: Picked up two silver medals in Sofia

It's been a week now since I returned from the European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. Looking back it was a very successful trip for me and the rest of the men's squad - junior and senior.

The qualification event went very well and we had a three-mark lead over the Russians. We also qualified for numerous event finals. The juniors had an incredible competition winning gold medals in the all-around as a team and on four individual apparatus. The pressure was on for the senior team but we felt very prepared for the challenge.

Unfortunately, we had a couple of errors early on which put us on the back foot for the whole competition. However, we pulled together and finished the competition off with top-class performances on high bar, floor and pommel horse. Sadly, we had left ourselves a bit too much to do and finished second.

To manage to claw our way back to even be in contention after a slow start shows just exactly what kind of a team we are. I have no doubt that the experience we gained from that team final will help us out in future high-pressure competitions. To come away with a European silver team medal is a massive achievement and we know we are capable of a lot more in the lead up to Rio.

High bar final

The high bar final is always the last event in gymnastics which means a long wait for me! I was very confident that I would go out and put in a good routine as I had already hit two great routines during the week.

I had planned to perform a 6.9 difficulty routine for the final; however, things can change very quickly in a gymnastics competition. The first man up, Fabian Hambuchen, the Olympic silver medallist, had a nasty fall.

At that point I decided to go for my solid routine knowing the silver was there for the taking and I was not yet ready to challenge Epke Zonderland for difficulty. In the end, that turned out to be the right decision and I ended my Europeans with two silver medals.

Looking forward, I now have a training camp with the GB team in Portugal and it's full steam ahead towards the Commonwealth Games, if I'm selected, and the World Championships in China.