5/8/2012: North Greenwich Arena: Team GB’s Louis Smith and Max Whitlock took SILVER and BRONZE in the men’s artistic pommel horse final; the first silver medal for GB in gymnastics since the 1908 London Games and the first silver individual apparatus medal in history.
Nineteen year old Max Whitlock stepped up fourth to compete amongst a strong field which saw him qualify down in eighth but with a clean slate in finals, he took the stage knowing anything was possible. Whitlock produced the routine of his life for 15.600 to put him into the lead half way through the final and he was only pushed down to third by Berki (HUN) the eventual winner and his teammate Smith.
With Louis Smith’s rival Berki (HUN) posting such a huge score of 16.066, Smith knew he needed to perform his most difficult routine to be in with a chance of winning the gold. With the entire crowd behind him, he did not disappoint and produced an almost flawless routine that was good enough to match his rival Berki (HUN). However, with tie breaking rules going down to execution, Smith 0.1 less than Berki, ended up with the silver.
Louis Smith- “I competed one of the best routines of my life and it was tough waiting for the score but to come second to one of the best pommel horse workers the worlds ever seen- I’m a lucky guy. I knew I had to go for my harder routine for the final as soon as I qualified and I’m very happy I went with that choice, I scored a 16 for the first time in a major competition so I’m very pleased. To do that routine in this Olympic Games in front of a home crowd and my friends and family, regardless of the score or position, it was amazing.”
Max Whitlock- “The success British Gymnastics had in Beijing really inspired me and hopefully the success we have had here will bring more recognition to the sport. It’s an honour to finish beneath Berki and Louis and to get a bronze in my first Olympic Games is unbelievable. I don’t think this will sink in for a long time, my goal when I arrived was to do well for the team and just make a final but to come away with two bronze medals is incredible.”
For the full results from today’s finals, please click here.
Other finals: Women’s vault- 1st Izbasa (ROU) 15.191 2nd Maroney (USA) 15.083 3rd Paseka (RUS) 15.050
Men's floor- 1st Zou (CHN) 15.933 2nd Uchimura (JPN) 15.800 (higher execution) 3rd Ablyazin (RUS) 15.800
NEXT IN ACTION The GB gymnasts will next be in action tomorrow, (Monday 6th August) when Beth Tweddle MBE takes the stage in the women’s bars final and Kristian Thomas in the men’s vault final starting at 2pm.