Great Britain men’s gymnastics team - Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas, Dan Keatings, Dan Purvis, Nile Wilson and Courtney Tulloch -have taken historic 4th place in the World Championship team final in Nanning, China, Britain’s greatest ever result.
The team were narrowly beaten to the medals in a hugely tense finale to the competition as USA took bronze with a total of 270.369 to Britain’s 269.170, the gold going to China and the silver to Japan. The British team had qualified in to the final in 4th place with the best ever team final result prior to this event 7th , although they did of course take Olympic team bronze in 2012.
For a long time the team were amongst the medals and despite the historic result team captain Kristian Thomas demonstrated the ambition in the team saying afterwards “We put in everything and just came up a little but short of the medals today, it’s disappointing but that just shows how high our aims are. We know that this is just the first step though, we have an incredible team with a great mix of experience and the young guys who have been exceptional, and it is a great base to work from on our road to the Rio Olympics.”
Max Whitlock added “Today was great, as a team we were so well prepared and so focussed and everyone did their job out there, we can be very proud as a team of what we’ve achieved. Again we have shown just how good Great Britain are at gymnastics.”
The format of the final meant that three of the six strong team competed on each of the six apparatus with every score counting to the final total.
The team couldn’t have got off to a better start as they began on the pommel horse. Daniel Purvis our top scorer in the all-around event in qualification proved his consistency to get the event underway before Olympic bronze medallist Max Whitlock (15.516) and Commonwealth champion Daniel Keatings (15.633) both performed excellent world-class routines . On rings Courtney Tulloch showed why he has made the individual final in that event again putting in a display of immense strength to top score (14.966) with Nile Wilson and Max also producing error free routines. Vault saw Kristian Thomas join the competition and he produced a superb double piked vault for GB’s top score of 15.491, Max again superb for 15.366 and Nile also landing cleanly.
At the half way point that placed Britain in the silver medal position thanks to clean performances all round.
On parallel bars Daniel Purvis was again superbly controlled scoring 15.200 to begin, with Nile Wilson showing no signs of nerves on his World Championships debut to follow suit and Dan Keatings battling thought his performance to keep GB on track. The pressure was on going in to high bar as China had crept ahead in the scores, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Nile Wilson soaked up the atmosphere and performed, all executing clean routines to keep the team in the medal hunt. Ending on floor with the tension in the air palpable the gymnasts again excelled, Kristian Thomas leading the way with a stylish display scoring 15.233 with Dan Purvis following suit for 15.100 and Max Whitlock ending with a routine packed with difficult twisting tumbles for 15.400 points giving the team a total of 269.170 and 4th place.
The full result can be found here.
The World Championships continue with Britain competing in the women’s team final on Wednesday, live on the BBC red button and website from 12pm.