26/05/12 Montpellier (FRA): Great Britain’s men’s artistic gymnastics team are the champions of Europe. Daniel Purvis, Kristian Thomas, Louis Smith, Ruslan Panteyleymonov and Max Whitlock become the first British team to ever take a major championships team gold medal after dominating the competition in Montpellier.
The British boys only had one mistake throughout the whole event to seal a winning score of 266.296 ahead of Russia in second (265.535) and Romania in third (261.319).
The team started off well, Max Whitlock and Kristian Thomas producing great floor routines, Dan Purvis struggling slightly but overall a good round to settle into the competition. On pommel Max Whitlock and Louis Smith were world class, Louis showing the style and difficulty that denotes an Olympic medal winner. On rings the team were all solid, bettering their qualification score and placing them in second spot at the halfway point.
On vault GBR turned up the level even more, Ruslan Pantleymonov’s huge score of 16.100 combined with falls for Russia over on high bar taking the British boys ahead. On parallel bars the British boys were composed and professional; doing the job they needed to do to stay ahead.
The last piece for GBR was the high bar, the most dynamic and often the most dramatic and it proved to be again, the competition resting on the last routine by Kristian Thomas, following a fall from Max Whitlock, Kristian needing 14.372 to lead GB to gold, he scored a massive 15.133
Kristian Thomas: “I didn’t know what score I need on high bar I just knew I needed to go clear, the adrenaline was immense. We’ve worked so hard in the gym to prepare for days like this and with the support of the lads I managed to pull through, we’re so proud. The first ever senior championshipstitle - a great achievement.”
Louis Smith: “After the pommel I was into team leader role, trying to encourage everyone and keep them focused and that’s exactly what they did. This is my first European gold and it’s history in the making for Great Britain, it’s great to be a part of.”
British Gymnastics Olympic performance director Tim Jones said: “Todays a really important step looking ahead to London, and a fantastic achievement. There will be a lot of people who thought they would never see this day and to have both the junior and seniors as champions of Europe is a tremendous result. “
GBR quick hits
Floor – GBR total 44.624
Max Whitlock began with a confidence boosting first pass stuck with lots of twists as always, some amazing flare work and a great clean routine for 15.300.
Kristian Thomas produced truly massive tumbles, perfectly stuck every time, completed a huge routine and deservedly scored 15.358.
Dan Purvis least up began with shaky landings out of his first two tumbles; he settled nicely but then rolled just slightly out on his penultimate tumble and sat his final pass scoring 13.966
Pommel –GBR total 45.433
Dan Purvis on pommel showed some slight of form loss but worked well to keep the rhythm going and dismounted cleanly for 14.300.
Brilliant pommel work from Max Whitlock with nice lines and very quick hands he punched the air on dismount for 15.300.
After a long wait Louis Smith showed all his class with another stunning pommel routine, looking so effortless in a routine packed with massive difficulty, a big dismount to end scoring him 15.833
Rings – GBR total 43.299
Kristian Thomas showed a slight bit of movement on one hold, but had great strength and determination to complete cleanly with a near perfect dismount for 14.266.
Ruslan Panteyleymonov showed amazing strength in a very difficult hold sequence mid-routine, tiny side step on landing for 14.400.
Dan Purvis was back to his best with a big rings routine and even bigger dismount, stuck perfectly, with big cheers from the British coaches to score 14.633.
Vault – GBR total 47.100
Dan Purvis landed slightly off to the right but good enough for a score of 15.700. Kristian followed up landing just short, touching his knees down he scored 15.300.
Ruslan finished up with a great vault and a perfect landing for 16.100
Parallel bars – GBR total 43.999
Max Whitlock showed nice work on parallel bars after a long wait, competed with good clean lines but had a step backward on landing scoring him 14.433.
Ruslan with a neat and tidy routine, clean and composed, stuck dismount for 14.666. Dan Purvis needing over 13.6 to take GBR ahead of Russia produced another clean and professional routine for GB – 14.900
High bar – GBR total
Max Whitlock fell early, looking comfortable he just lost his grip trying to re-catch. Remounting he does very well to battle the nerves and complete the routine for 12.533.
Dan Purvis followed up cleanly with a small step forward on landing for 14.175.
Last up in the whole competition was Kristian Thomas and he nailed it, huge release and catches for 15.133 and gold for GBR