Recently crowned Commonwealth Games all-around champion Luke Folwell told IG this week he plans to rally his British team at the world championships that start Saturday in Rotterdam, despite the fact that he will be watching the competition on television in England.
"I'm the non-traveling reserve for the team, so I plan to watch the action at home, cheering the team on for some more great results," he said.
Folwell, who won two gold medals and three silver medals at the Commonwealth Games held last week in Delhi, said he is confident that the British men can finish among the top 10 in Rotterdam — if not higher.
Luke Folwell won the all-around and vault titles for England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. He is the second alternate to the British world team.
"We have a very strong squad now, so anything is possible," he said. "If the guys can hit their routines, I think a place in the top 10 will be achieved. If they have a dream comp, then they can go even better."
Folwell, who competed at the 2006 and 2007 World Championships, said solid planning was important to his success in Delhi.
"I think the key to the all-around victory was down to my preparation before the Games," said the 23-year-old Folwell, who is coached by Paul Hall at Huntingdon Gymnastics Club. "I had four months of really, really good training before I flew out, and it set me up really well for a good result when I got there. I also think my frame of mind was key, too. I told myself that this was my chance and I had to take it with both hands, because I wouldn't get a chance like this again."
After winning a silver medal in the team competition and the all-around gold medal, Folwell said he was confident that he could achieve more in the apparatus finals, where he won the gold medal on vault and silver medals on rings and parallel bars.
"I knew I was capable of pushing for more medals in the individual events, so I kept that in my head," said Folwell, who represented England in Delhi. "There was no bigger incentive to keep the momentum going for the finals. After the all-around final I felt really confident and comfortable with my routines, so I felt like I was not going to make an error in the next finals coming up."
Folwell said training at Huntingdon with 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Louis Smith and 2009 world all-around silver medalist Daniel Keatings offers him incentives in and out of the gym.
"In the gym they motivate me because they are exceptional gymnasts," Folwell said. "Training with top gymnasts helps a lot because you want to push yourself to match their level of performance. I have looked at their results over the past few years and thought, 'Wow, I want to be part of that.' So I've trained really hard alongside them and tried to push myself to the limit to get the best out of my gymnastics. Outside the gym we are all very close friends, so I think that helps all of us to get the best out of our gymnastics."
Folwell said he is eager to earn a spot on of the British team at the 2011 Worlds in Tokyo and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"I just plan to keep training hard and see where I can help the British team," he told IG. "I've got to keep my head down and prove my scores at our national competitions, and hopefully that will be enough to secure my place on the team in the coming years. I still feel I have a lot to offer in the next few years, so I can't wait for Tokyo and London."
Stay tuned to IG Online for more news and reports from the 2010 World Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam. Use coupon code INTERNATIONALGYMNAST to get a discounted rate to watch live streaming coverage on UniversalSports.com!