GB Men Win Bronze
31 July 2012, 11:14
Britain's men's gymnastics team - including 19 year old Max Whitlock from Hemel Hempstead - have made history by winning bronze in the team event at the 2012 Olympics.
It's Team GB's first men's gymnastics Olympic medal in a hundred years.
Louis Smith, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis, Sam Oldham and Kristian Thomas scored a total of 271.711 as they produced a stunning team performance in front of a royal audience.
Britain had initially been awarded silver but an inquiry into the score of Kohei Uchimura's pommel horse routine saw Japan claim silver and Britain downgraded to bronze.
China retained their gold medal with 2008 silver medallists Japan leapfrogging Britain's score of 271.711 with an upgraded total of 271.952.
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry led the support as Britain claimed their first Olympic team medal since the bronze at the Stockholm Games in 1912 to thunderous applause from the home crowd.
Max Whitlock has Tweeted a picture of his medal
Smith, who only competed on his specialist piece, the pommel horse, was philosophical about being downgraded to a bronze medal.
Three-time all-around world champion Uchimura's score was upgraded from 13.466 to 14.166 when he was credited for his dismount, moving Japan who were in fourth, up into silver medal position.
"In a way I'm quite happy because all of us look up to the Japanese gymnastics team,'' Smith said.
"They're the pinnacle of gym. All of us want to be as good as them so to see them get a medal, we're very happy about it.
"We said to each other: 'The crowd shouldn't boo.' If the judges have got something wrong and they deserve to get a silver medal, they get a silver medal.
"We set out to come top six, top five pushing it. For me it was easy to sit back after the pommel horse routine and have a little look at what was going on. These guys are unbelievable.''
Whitlock, who competed on four pieces of apparatus, agreed the colour of the medal did not matter.
He said: "We came into this competition not expecting anything, not putting any pressure on ourselves and came out here to enjoy it.
"We've done this which is amazing.
"To be honest [the downgrading] doesn't matter. We've done more than we could have asked for and I can't ask for more than this.''
Purvis, who can now add Olympic bronze to this year's European team gold and his world and European floor medals, was still struggling to believe what his team had just achieved.
"It still feels a bit surreal to be honest,'' the Liverpool-born gymnast said.
"When we were standing there and it came up in second we were like 'oh my God we've done it.'
"We then knew we had done enough to win a medal whatever happened with the inquiry.
"I've worked so hard over the years. Going through those hard days and pushing yourself when you don't really want to. It's days like this where it's just worth everything.''
Thomas, who still has an individual all-around final with Purvis and a vault final to come, admitted he found it hard to digest Britain's incredible path to Olympic bronze.
"Less than a year ago we finished 11th at the world championships,'' Thomas said.
"A few months later we moved on and we win European gold which was a bit unexpected and then we came here and won an Olympic bronze medal.
"Obviously we were disappointed after [not qualifying for the Olympics in] Tokyo but we all knew that we were good enough to be at the Olympic Games.
"We took that through the test event we seemed to have gained momentum from the test event, to the Europeans and now to the Olympics.
"We've peaked at the right time.''