12/01/12: British gymnasts continued their week long success story at the North Greenwich Arena by securing 4 medals on the first day of apparatus finals in the London Prepares gymnastics test event.
Louis Smith and Daniel Purvis both performed faultless routines to take the pommel and floor gold respectively, whilst Max Whitlock followed Louis with Silver on pommel, and Kristian Thomas secured floor Brzone.
The men’s floor final was dominated by Great Britain, with fantastic performances from Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas. Dan showed great composure as he took to the floor first, to open up the evening’s events, scoring what was to be an unbeatable 15.466. Kristian was equally impressive, sticking almost every landing to score 15.333 and take the bronze behind Daniel and Gonzalez (CHI) who in the end tied for the gold.
Kristian Thomas: “It’s been a brilliant week. In terms of today it was quite hard to get up again after the huge high of Tuesday night but once you’re back in the arena the excitement of the crowd caries you through and I’m really happy with the routine and the Bronze.”
There were no Brits in the Vault finals, where Brazil’s powerhouse Jade Barbosa stormed to victory with 14.799. She was closely followed by Maksiuta (ISR) with 14.600, in silver and Masela (NED) in third.
Max Whitlock was up first in the much anticipated pommels final. He didn’t look phased though as he produced a beautiful clean routine much to the crowds delight to score 15.100 and set the standard. The Frenchman Tommasone who looked to be in contention of the medals took a hard fall half way, which put him out of the top 3. Louis Smith came on to the podium to a great roar from the crowd and he definitely gave them something to shout about. Although not his most difficult routine, it was fabulous to watch and both him and his coach were extremely pleased, as he took the gold medal and scored 15.700 ahead of Max in Silver and Likhovitskiy (BLR) 14.966 in third.
Louis Smith, “I’ve gained a lot of experience with added pressure of a home crowd. It was the best option to go for the easiest, safest routine. It was probably one of the cleanest performances I’ve done.”
Max Whitlock, “I was quite nervous being first up. I wanted to do a clean routine on the pommel horse and I did, so that made me happy. And now I can give my mum and my girlfriend the flowers that you get as a medallist – one each.”
15 year old Brit Rebecca Tunney showed great promise stepping up in front of the largest crowd we have seen here at this event. She completed a clean and precise routine for 14.266 and 6th place. The young Russian Grishina performed well after a disappointing vault final to take the gold (15.033) ahead of Dufournet of France (14.800) and Yao of China (14.500) in third.
The final event of the day was the rings, not one of Daniel Purvis strongest events but he did himself proud with a precise routine with an impressive double twisting double back dismount to score 14.766. The very impressive Nabbarette (BRA) took the gold with a fabulous performance showing great strength with 15.533.
Dan Purvis: “It’s been an amazing start to the year. Making the final today was a bonus but the main job was done once we sealed the Olympic team place on Tuesday. I feel like I’m getting used to this arena now, it’s almost like being at a football match as everyone’s cheering for you and I’m loving it!”