GB men win historic team silver at World Championships

By David McDaidBBC Olympic sports reporter
GB men claim team silver in Glasgow
World Gymnastics Championships
Venue: Hydro Arena, Glasgow Date: 23 October to 1 November
Coverage: Live on BBC Two and online from 27-30 October (19:00 GMT), BBC One on 31 October (13:30) and BBC Two on 1 November (13:30).

Great Britain's men gymnasts won their first ever world team medal with silver at the World Championships in Glasgow.

The floor routines of Daniel Purvis and Max Whitlock put Britain in with a chance of gold but they narrowly missed out to Japan, as China came third.

Two of Japan's gymnasts slipped off the high bars but they managed to score well enough to take their first gold medal in the event for 37 years.

Japan finished on 270.818 points, while GB achieved 270.345 and China 269.959.

"The teams were so good and we managed to compete with the best," said Purvis.

Louis Smith gives team-mate MAx Whitlock a hug as GB celebrate their silver medal
Louis Smith gives team-mate Max Whitlock a hug as GB celebrate their silver medal

Team-mate Louis Smith added: "I'm feeling overwhelmed. The guys were unbelievable. Everyone pulled together and worked so hard. Everyone did their job."

The men's results came a day after Britain's women gymnasts won their first ever team final medal with World Championships bronze.

The men's success follows the watershed moment at London 2012 where they won bronze, Great Britain's first team medal at the Olympics in 100 years.

Great Britain's team of Whitlock, Smith, Purvis, Nile Wilson, Krisitian Thomas and Brinn Bevan were third behind Japan and the USA after their first three routines on pommel, rings and vault.

While the Japanese led throughout, the American challenge faded on their final two disciplines - floor and pommel - and it looked liked a fight for silver between GB and China, who had recovered from a poor start.

However, with parallel bars and high bar negotiated, GB's Thomas, Purvis and Whitlock, performed fine floor routines to elevate the team into the gold medal position with only Japan's talisman, Kohei Uchimura to go on high bar.

Louis Smith tweet
Smith performing a difficult pommel routine to score 15.333

When the five-time world all-around champion made an uncharacteristic fall it appeared GB could well win gold.

But, after a tense wait to find out that last score, the penalty for the slip was not enough to upset Japan's efforts to win a first world team gold since 1978.

"I'm very happy to win the team gold," Uchimura told BBC Sport.

"It shows Japan are strong ahead of the Rio Olympics next year where we will be targeting the gold medal."

Uchimura will now aim for a sixth successive all-around title on Friday.

Of the GB team, Whitlock was the standout performer - and the only member to compete on all six pieces of apparatus.

His total of 90.166 was close to his personal best tally of 91.6, which should buoy him going in to Friday's individual all-around final - where he is joined by Purvis.

That pair will also compete over the weekend in apparatus finals on floor, while Wilson and Smith will contest parallel bars and pommel respectively.

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