Britain’s gymnasts have once again made history as the men’s team of Max Whitlock, Louis Smith MBE, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan and Daniel Purvis have taken silver at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships at the Hydro Arena in Glasgow our greatest ever artistic gymnastics World Championships team result.
The GB men, who have never taken a world team medal, finished with 270.345, just 0.473 behind the newly crowned champions Japan (270.818) and 0.386 ahead of former world champions China (269.959). The silver medal was sealed with the last performances of the championships as the Hydro Arena awaited the placing’s, finally the scoreboard revealing the result confirming Great Britain’s standing amongst the best gymnastic teams in the world.
The British men’s competition got off to a great start with Louis Smith performing a difficult pommel routine under the pressure of opening the campaign, scoring 15.333. Brinn Bevan’s huge shout of “come on” to the crowd showed how happy he was with his pommel with Max Whitlock last up produced an outstanding routine for our top score of 15.700.
GB then moved to rings where Max Whitlock was again in good form scoring 14.400, the roar of the crowd indicated ScotsmanDan Purvis was next up and he was solid for 14.333, Nile Wilson the last up with an impressive 14.933.
Brinn Bevan on vault showed no nerves in his first World Championships, his double pike Tsukahara scoring 15.133. Max triple twisted to 15.033 and Kristian Thomas followed with a double piked Yurchenko vault with 15.333. After three rotations this placed GB third in at the half way mark.
Max lead the way once more on parallel bars with a 15.033, Nile Wilson who has made the parallel bars final had some difficulty but battled well for a score of 15.033. Dan Purvis then produced a superb 15.466 to regain the momentum and keep the team in third heading to high bar as the pressure intensified.
Max again was the man to calm the nerves, executing an impressive routine with a near perfect landing for 15.000 points.Kristian Thomas’s routine was packed with difficult release moves, re-catching with cross arms to the amazement of the crowd and impressing the judges for another 15.000 for GB. Nile Wilson had the whole arena focussed on his routine and rose to the challenge, the arena and his teammates erupting after his clean routine scored him 14.833.
Heading into the final apparatus, GB needed to score in the mid 14s to overtake Russia and solid scores above 15 to overtake gymnastic greats and the reigning world champions China. Kristian started off GB’s campaign with a strong routine packed with difficulty, a few small steps on landing but it was clean for 14.600 to keep GB in contention. Up next, Dan proved his consistency at high level competition and completed an outstanding routine for a high 15.400. Then came the question, could Max score in the mid to high 15s to overtake China? The answer was yes, Max stuck cold nearly every landing to score 15.766.
Max Whitlock led the team competing on all apparatus and summed up the achievements saying: “To be honest there was pressure but the amount of support that goes with that was unbelievable. The crowd were absolutely crazy today and I think that has helped us get these silver medals that are round our necks now. The atmosphere was unbelievable and I think the team pulled together brilliantly and we got exactly what we wanted.”
Teammate Nile Wilson proud of the result: “That Olympic medal has spurred us all on made us all believe that we are one of the best countries in the world at gymnastics. To be a part of this team was incredible. We were all relentless out there and hit every routine and you can’t ask for more than that.”
The 2015 World Gymnastics Championships continues with the women’s all-around final tomorrow (Thursday 29th October) with Britain’s Ruby Harrold and Amy Tinkler fighting for world glory. Follow the action LIVE on BBC Two from 7pm.