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Gymnastics: Purvis heads to Glasgow still on a high

It may only be a handful of miles between the Kelvin Hall and the new Emirates Arena but Dan Purvis has come a long way in the past year.

Dan Purvis is defending his title next weekend   Photograph: Getty
Dan Purvis is defending his title next weekend Photograph: Getty

The 22-year-old Scouser, who qualifies to compete for Scotland as his mother Denise is from Dundee, won last year's World Cup in Glasgow's west end and defends his title next weekend in more futuristic surroundings.

The event at the £113-million venue will mark the first time British gymnasts have competed on home soil since London 2012. At this stage last year, the British men's team had not even qualified for the Olympics after coming up short at the World Championships in Tokyo (where the GB women booked their London ticket).

Since then, Purvis has helped the GB men claim their first major championship gold, by winning the European title in France, and then Olympic bronze. He has seen team-mate Louis Smith, who won the pommel horse silver medal in London, go on to feature on prime-time television in Strictly Come Dancing. British gymnastics is basking in a golden era and, even before Purvis was confirmed for next weekend, the event had sold out.

It would be tempting to suggest it is an overnight success but Purvis says: "There has been a lot of hard work but it has been worth it. I wasn't the most confident kid but when I was about 15 or 16, I thought it was all a real possibility."

Purvis is in Stuttgart to compete in the first World Cup event where today he will be up against home favourite Marcel Nguyen, the Olympic all-around silver medallist, who will also be in Glasgow along with American Olympic bronze medallist Danell Leyva.

In yesterday's team event, Great Britain continued their good form, winning the bronze medal. Scotland's Daniel Keatings, competing in his first major event since being controversially left out of the GB Olympic team in the summer, gave a solid display to help the team reach 175.930 points. Japan took gold (181.629pts) with Russia winning silver (176.295pts).

In the women's event next weekend, Great Britain's youngest gymnast at London 2012, 16-year-old Rebecca Tunney, will feature along with team-mate Niamh Rippin, the 2010 European silver medallist. World and European champion Vanessa Ferrari from Italy and Romanian Larisa Iordache, the Olympic bronze medallist, will provide the highest quality of opposition.

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