World Gymnastics: GB men finish fourth in team final

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter in Nanning
Great Britain at the World Championships
The Great Britain team narrowly missed out on a world medal in Nanning
2014 World Gymnastics Championships
Venue: Nanning, China; Dates: 3-13 October 2014; Coverage: Daily highlights of the team and individual apparatus finals - 12:00 BST on Red Button and 15:00-17:15 on BBC Two from 7-10 October; 14:20-15:50 on 11 October (BBC One) and 16:00-17:30 on 12 October (BBC Two).

Great Britain's men recorded their best World Championship team final result, finishing fourth in Nanning, China.

The GB men's team won Olympic bronze at London 2012 but their best previous world result was seventh in 2010.

A six-strong squad of Max Whitlock, Dan Keatings, Kristian Thomas, Dan Purvis, Nile Wilson and Courtney Tulloch were second at the halfway stage.

Their total of 269.270 was beaten by winners China with 273.369, Japan's 273.269 and United States' 270.369.

The British team had qualified for the final with the fourth highest score.

However, with double Olympic bronze medallist Whitlock enduring a 'tough day' on Friday, they had hoped to push for the podium places.

After strong performances on the pommel horse, rings and vault, GB found themselves in second place behind Japan but China improved round-by-round, eventually overhauling Japan with their final routine.

World Gymnastics: China pip Japan in thrilling finale

That left a battle for the bronze medal and following a sluggish parallel bars routine from Keatings and average scores on the high bar, Britain slipped to fifth with just one apparatus to go.

Whitlock, Puris and Thomas all scored impressively but it was not enough to deny the USA who claimed the final podium position.

"It's a really hard place to finish, but we're so proud of how we performed out there," team captain Thomas told BBC Sport.

"We've got a great mix of experienced guys and new guys who've just come into the team and to get that result shows we're in a strong place just two years from the Olympics."

European and Commonwealth champion Whitlock added: "The guys really got behind me after my struggles on Friday and I did everything I could for them out there.

"It wasn't to be today but hopefully we'll come back stronger next year."

Wednesday will see the British women compete in their world team final.

They too have never won a World Championship medal and after qualifying fourth will also have hopes of challenging for a historic honour.