15/10 Tokyo: Great Britain’s Louis Smith claimed the artistic gymnastics World Championships pommel horse Bronze medal in a dramatic final in Tokyo.
Gambling on his hardest routine Louis looked in superb shape until the very last second when he lost balance slightly on his dismount and landing, his huge difficulty and sublime work up to then ensuring he did enough to score 15.066 and take the bronze, matching his result from Stuttgart 2007 and the Olympics in 2008.
Louis Smith: “That final was just mad! I’m so happy to have gone out there and put out my hardest routine but that was crazy having to wait to see how every got on. I cannot believe I got the bronze but to go and there and do that routine that I’ve worked so hard on, no one knows how good that feels. When I knew I was in the final I said to my coach ‘I want to try the hard routine’, in training and warm up I felt really good, I woke up singing so knew I was in good shape, an unfortunate slip at the end but really happy overall. The week has been really up and down, on the one end the girls were amazing finishing 5th and Dan Purvis was brilliant in the all-around, for the boys it’s been tough but I hope this results today helps pick them up and I know we are all ready to work hard when we get home.”
The final was fraught with drama as several big names went for broke with hugely difficult routines.
Only pommel master Kristian Berki and Cyril Tommasone of France managed to produce their absolute best, Berki with a 15.833 for gold and Tommasone a 15.266 for silver. Louis performed second in the final and had the agony of then waiting to see how the other well-fancied pommel workers went, Tommasone followed cleanly but then Uchimura, the star of the Championships fell, followed by Sellathurai of Australia who stopped dead mid-routine.
For Louis it was then a matter of seeing how Berki and Teng of China could fare last up, Berki was supreme, his long limbs navigating the pommel in style and he dismounted with a fist pump to the crowd. Teng last up with Louis having held on to bronze spot, the Chinese gymnast looked strong and graceful, a neat handstand and back into swing, as many were awaiting his dismount he slipped and fell, the crowd groaned but for Louis it meant bronze.
1. Berki 15.833 2. Tommasone 15.266 3. Smith 15.066
For full results from all of Saturday finals click here.
Men’s floor: 1. Uchimura 15.633 2. Zou 15.500 3. Hypolito 15.466
Women’s vault: 1. Maroney 15.300 2. Chusovitina 14.733 3. Phan 14.666
Pommel: 1. Berki 15.833 2. Tommasone 15.266 3. Smith 15.066
Bars: 1. Komova 15.500 2. Nabieva 15.000 3. Huang
Rings: 1. Chen 15.800 2. Nabarrete 15.600 3. Yamamuro 15.500
Next up for GBR, Beth Tweddle in Sundays floor final.