27/05/12 Montpellier (FRA): The final day of the 2012 men’s artistic gymnastics European Championships saw Louis Smith claim the pommel horse silver medal and Britain’s junior gymnast add three apparatus titles to complete a memorable week for British gymnasts.
Louis produced a clean final routine with a perfect start up to handstand’s followed with nice clean circles, a slight loss of form in places and a perfectly executed dismount, enough for 15.775 and the silver medal.
Long term rival Kristian Berki pipped Louis to the title in the last routine of the day scoring 15.958.
Louis Smith: “The routine was alright a little bit shaky with a lot of pressure on but I’ve gone clean again, a little bit of form break may have cost me the medal but overall I’m happy. The week has been superb for British Gymnastics with the team title, so to add a silver to that wraps it up nicely. I went for my easier routine today which was the sensible decision; I’ve proved this week I’m capable of big scores so it puts me in a confident mood going forward.”
On floor Dan Purvis was rested after suffering from illness earlier in the week. Kristian Thomas nailed his first tumble with a small step on his second pass and a hop to finish for 14.966 and 4th spot.
Max Whitlock upped his difficulty level on pommel adding a Russian movement with a form loss near the end but pulled through nicely for a score of 14.983 and 6th place.
On vault Kristian Thomas, couldn’t hold his landing on his first pass a Yurchenko double pike and took a step on landing his second run for 15.366 and 8th spot. Ruslan Panteyleymonov produced a huge first vault for 16.133, followed up with side step on second pass for 15.500 and an average of 15.816 for 6th.
The British juniors completed their outstanding championships, following team gold and all-around gold and silver (Frank Baines and Nile Wilson) by adding a further three gold medals in the apparatus finals to cap a dominant week.
To begin the day Jay Thompson took the pommel horse title with a superb clean routine first up with high execution scoring him 14.000 for the gold, with Franks Baines in 5th.
Courtney Tulloch then produced a fantastic rings routine demonstrating his huge strength and high difficulty level to score him an unbeatable 14.525 for the title.
And to end Frank Baines, the leader of the team, completed a huge high bar routine, full of difficult release and catches and executed to perfection, scoring him 13.833 for gold with Nile Wilson just out of the medals scoring 13.533 for 4th.
To complete the finals 14-year old Brinn Bevan finished 5th on the parallel bars scoring 13.800.
Frank Baines “It’s been an amazing week, we’ve been training together so hard for so long for this and it’s all paid off. We’ve proved to all the nations how good Great Britain is. It’s a very proud moment standing on the podium listening to the national anthem.”
Courtney Tulloch “I was so nervous going into the competition but the coaches kept telling me it was my day and gave me great belief. The championships have been fantastic for everyone, to beat these other nations is a massive achievement and things look very good for us going forward.”
Jay Thompson: “It’s the best feeling of my life, I’m so so happy. The team celebrated so much, it’s the third time in a row the junior have won and we’re all ecstatic.it was very emotional standing on the podium, I’m so proud it nearly brought a tear to my eye. We’ve worked so hard for this and are very proud to have done the job.”