30/07/2012 North Greenwich Arena: The GBR men’s artistic team of Max Whitlock, Sam Oldham, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis have won BRONZE in the men’s artistic team final; the first medal for GBR in 100 years.
The team edged out close rivals the Ukraine and Russia on their last piece, the floor, where Purvis, Thomas and Whitlock showed no sign of nerves nailing their routines. The team initially looked to have taken the silver behind China but a last minute score inquiry from Japan bumped them up from fourth to second ahead of GBR in third. Regardless, it was a historic victory and the packed crowd in the North Greenwich Arena could not contain their excitement.
The team began on pommel, where they went clean helped by an almost flawless performance from Louis Smith who scored an outstanding 15.966 to start them off on a good foot. The boys dipped below after one of their weaker pieces, the rings but they still continued with no major errors, where countries such as USA and Germany began to crumble. Kristian Thomas then performed the vault of his life to really put GBR into the mix with parallel bars straight after, also a clean piece. Then over on the high bar the teams medal hopes looked to be in doubt, Sam Oldham slipped and fell and the boys knew they had to produce something special on floor to edge ahead. That they certainly did, hardly putting a foot wrong and when the crowd realised they had earned a place on the podium, the North Greenwich arena erupted.
Kristian Thomas: “I tried not to look at the scores all the way round as it was so close but couldn’t resist after high bar and then I wish I hadn’t! It didn’t matter though; the crowd were incredible and really helped us through especially as I ended up last on floor so there was a lot of pressure. We initially thought we had the silver but it doesn’t matter to me what colour, I’m standing here with an Olympic medal and I can’t stop looking at it.”
Louis Smith: “That was just unbelievable; I mean when Kristian smashed his vault it was amazing. The support we have had is remarkable and I think that’s the Olympic fever, it adds extra pressure and expectation but you can use that to your advantage. The crowd really get behind you and you can feel it, we were buzzing all the way round.”
For the full results from the final, please click here.
The men will next be in action when Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis compete in the men’s all-around final on Wednesday (1st August). Tomorrow (31st July), will see the GB women's team compete in their team final after they qualified in 5th place.