Glasgow 2014: Louis Smith shines as England open up early lead

By Nick HopeBBC Commonwealth Games reporter, Glasgow
Louis Smith
Smith won Olympic silver and bronze at London 2012, adding to the bronze he picked up at Beijing 2008

Louis Smith marked his international comeback by helping England take a commanding lead at the midway stage of the gymnastics team finals.

The three-time Olympic medallist only returned to the sport in January after his post-London 2012 break and scored an impressive 15.7 on the pommel horse.

It was bettered only by team-mate and European champion Max Whitlock (15.733) as England completed the first three of six apparatus with 133.806 points.

Scotland lie second on 127.240.

The two-day competition resumes and concludes on Tuesday, with the country achieving the highest aggregate score across all six disciplines claiming gold.

Performances in the team event will also determine who will qualify for the individual apparatus and all-around finals later in the week.

"Today was amazing," said Smith, who is joined in the England team by Whitlock, Sam Oldham, Kristian Thomas and Nile Wilson.

"It's been a hard journey to get where I am in terms of getting back fit again, but now I think there's definitely more to come."

Smith's score should see him line up in the pommel horse final alongside Whitlock on Thursday, with Scotland's 2013 European champion Dan Keatings also in contention.

The English women's team also gave themselves a first-day advantage, finishing their first two of four apparatus - vault and uneven bars - on 85.390.

European champion Becky Downie led the way on the uneven bars as England opened up a substantial lead over Australia (83.882) and Wales (81.398).

Downie is joined in the England squad by Hannah Whelan, Ruby Harrold, Claudia Fragapane and Kelly Simm.

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