North Greenwich Arena: The GB men’s artistic team of Max Whitlock, Sam Oldham, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis have qualified for the first time ever into the Olympic team final.
The team qualified in a historic third place behind powerhouses America and Russia but ahead of reigning Olympic Champions, China by over two and a half marks.
Kristian Thomas qualified in fifth for the all-around with teammate Dan Purvis finishing strongly in tenth, also making the all-around final.
On the pommel, expectation was high for Louis Smith’s routine and he did not disappoint. He was extremely focused and produced a flawless performance to score 15.800. With a standing ovation from the crowd, he could not hold back the tears of joy after getting through clean. Smith goes into the final qualifying in first place and teammate Max Whitlock making his Olympic debut also made the pommel final in eighth.
After an outstanding competition for Kristian Thomas he successfully made the vault final in fifth place.
Krsitian Thomas- “We’ve put in so much hard work for this and to see it pay off like it has today is just so unbelievable. I don’t think I will ever be able to describe the feeling of walking into this arena today and being greeted by that crowd. Personally I’m delighted with my performance but it’s mainly about the team and as a group we are very happy”
Louis Smith- “Today was all about the team, we are a very tight group and we have been through a lot of ups and downs together so to produce a performance like we have done today is one of the proudest moments of my life. We are all a bit overwhelmed by the support and we are so happy to have gone out and put in such a great performance for everybody here and back home. I was so happy to complete my routine as there was a lot riding on it. I couldn’t help thinking about the future, providing for my family, the expectation.”
Next up the GB men will compete in the team final on Monday 30th July at 4.30pm. Tomorrow will see the women qualify, with the GB girls competing in subdivision three at 2.45pm.
For the full results, please click here.
GB apparatus reports
RINGS- Team total 44.199
With huge support from the home crowd the boys showed no signs of nerves on their first piece getting off to a fantastic start. Young Sam Oldham was first up, producing a solid routine, keeping his composure to score 14.6. Kristian Thomas had a few struggles at the beginning but continued well and finished with a stuck dismount to score 14.566. Current British Champion Purvis was calm and collected and produced a fantastic routine to score 15.033 with Max Whitlock rounding off a great start for the boys with 14.133.
VAULT- Team total 48.333
Oldham started off with a strong vault for 15.533 and Whitlock went even better with 16.033, both with little deduction on their landings. Purvis continued the Brits solid vaults with again only a small adjustment on landing earning him a 16.1. Thomas was last up and the only Brit to perform two vaults. He scored 16.2 for his double piked yurchekno and followed this with a handspring double front for 15.766 for a total 15.983, earning him a spot in the vault final.
P-BARS Team total 44.024
P-bars proved to be a shaky piece for GB, however there were no major errors and all of the boys fought through to the end of their routines. Whitlock (13.900), Oldham (14.666), Purvis (14.733), Thomas (14.625).
HIGH BAR Team total 45.199
After a shaky performance at the 2011 World Championships on high bar, the GB team looked to prove they could still produce good performances on this piece of apparatus. Purvis had a strong routine with only few form errors throughout to score 14.733. Oldham continued the steady work scoring 15.100 and Kristian Thomas proved just why he was the 2012 London test event winner on this piece of apparatus with a difficult yet confident performance to score 15.366. Smith also competed on the high bar and although not his strongest event he produced a clean routine to prove he’s not just a one trick pony.
FLOOR Team total 45.832
Whitlock continued to impress with 15.266 and Oldham steadily went through for 14.700. A few deep landings gave Purvis a score of 15.200. Thomas continued his excellent form on floor nailing his landings with great lines for 15.366.
POMMEL Team total 44.833
GB began with an unfortunate fall from Purvis however he recovered and finished well to score 13.400. This error did not faze young Whitlock who is strong on this piece of apparatus, he oozed confidence and didn’t allow the pressure to discourage him scoring a sound 14.900. When Smith stepped up for his routine, the crowd were the loudest we had heard them so far. He looked completely focused and performed almost a flawless routine to score 15.800 earning him a place in the event final in the top spot. Thomas finished off his fantastic all-around campaign scoring 14.133.
Source: British Gymnastics website