London 2012 - Beth Tweddle Q & A
Ahead of the European Championships in Berlin, Eurosport caught up European and World Champion gymnast Beth Tweddle.
How are you preparing for the European Championships? Is all the hard work done or have you got a lot still to do before it starts next week?
Beth Tweddle: I'm almost ready - it's slightly different this year [Beth is the defending European champion on uneven bars and the floor] because everything is building up to 2012. I have a new routine on the uneven bars and I've only been working on it for the last three weeks!
How does that compare to previous routines that have won you gold medals?
BT: Sometimes a year or more! Of course, the individual bits of the routine I have practiced and trained for before, but putting it all together has only happened in the last three weeks. The difficulty level has increased but with the world championships later in the year and London in 2012 now is the time to try it - and because the Europeans are not a team event I can concentrate on myself.
So what constitutes a successful week in Berlin for you?
BT: I'd like to have a good week, make finals and hopefully come away with medals.
In terms of the future, 2012 is the big objective - what about after that?
BT: I have a sports science degree, and I'll be continuing my studies in the future - I have place at the University of Liverpool to study Physiotherapy in 2012. I've also started Total Gymnastics with the help of former Olympic swimmer Steve Parry. We go into schools and leisure centres to help give children a chance to try gymnastics - which I'm enjoying because so many gymnastics clubs are overbooked.
Can you see yourself staying in the sport in a coaching role too? Is that something you'd be interested in doing?
BT: I think I could see myself more as a mentor than a coach. I'm not sure I have the patience to coach!
Fair enough! Back to Berlin - is it all about your performance next week, or will you be watching what your rivals are doing too?
BT: Everyone will be having a good look around and seeing what the other girls are doing - what difficulty levels they have in their routines, who's in good form. I'll be focused on my own performance, but I'll be interested in what other people are doing.
Who would you advise us to watch out for in the British squad?
BT: There's a lot of talent in the squad these days. The men have been going well even without Daniel Keating. Theo Saeger is doing really well and has a couple of good vaults. On the girl's side, Hannah Whelan has improved a lot recently. But the best thing is the depth of the squad. It's so much stronger now and it's not just Louis [Smith] and Beth to look out for any more.
The European Championships take place in Berlin between April 5-10, with the event being covered on Eurosport.