Bronze for British gymnasts

  • Last Updated: July 30 2012, 21:55 BST

Great Britain won their first men's gymnastics Olympic team medal in a century when they claimed bronze at the North Greenwich arena on Monday.

  • Great Britain: Celebrate winning a bronze medal
  • The team could hardly believe what they achieved 
  • China won the gold medal after an impressive display 

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.

  • Huge performances from Kristian Thomas Daniel Purvis and Louis Smith secure Great Britain a Bronze medal in the Men's team Gymnastics against all the odds
  • Sky Sports Scholar Louis Smith puts in another stellar performance on the Pommell Horse to put Britain in a strong position
  • There is plenty of high profile suport for Team GB, as both Princes William and Harry watch on
  • China turned on the style, as Kai Zou takes to the Horizontal Bar
  • The Americans are a bundle of positive energy as per usual, and will be looking to whoop and cheer their way to a medal
  • The Russians score high early on, but fade as the competition continues
  • Kuhei Ichimura is pleased with his performance on the Horizontal Bars as Japan push for medals
  • Germany are paired with Great Britain, but appear to be struggling in this final, and are slipping down the table
  • China have found the form that won them Gold in Beijing four years  ago, and now lead the competition with an unassailable lead
  • The other two medals are up for grabs though, and Great Britain are pushing to secure their first Team medal since 1908
  • The Brits are now battling Ukraine, Japan and the USA for medals
  • There's devestation for the USA, as after qualifying with ease the Americans see their chances of Olympic glory slip away
  • Incredible performances from Kristian Thomas in the Vault and on the floor put Britain into the Silver medal position
  • Japan are expected to take silver, but a low score on the Pommel Horse from Kuhei Ichimura sees Ukraine take Bronze with Britain handed Silver
  • However Japan appeal the decision on the Pommell Horse, and the result is overturned; handing them Silver and seeing Britain take Bronze
  • The British boys can hardly believe their eyes, as against all expectrations they have claimed the Bronze medal in the Men's Team Artistic Gymnastics
  • In one of British sport's proudest moments, Team GB take to the podium to collect their Bronze medals
  • Japan will feel justice has been served as they receive Silver
  • China are worthy winners after dominating throughout the day to retain their Olympic Gold
Pictures from today's gymnastic events at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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.

Oldham, who was injured during and after last year's world championships, admitted the result has exceeded all of the team's expectations.

He said: "If someone had said at the start of the day that we would finish third behind China and Japan at the Olympic Games and beat Ukraine, Russia, Germany and America I don't think any of us would have believed you to be honest.

"For me, six months ago I wasn't even training. I've had some pretty dark times in the last year. To have done this is a credit to the guys, my mum, my dad, my personal coach - I would not be where I am without them."

Oldham fell off Britain's penultimate piece, the horizontal bar, allowing Ukraine to take a narrow lead in bronze medal position and set up a tense finale.

However, the 19-year-old was able to stay composed and do what was needed by his team.

"I was in shock as I missed but I switched quick as I knew I had to finish it off as it was still tight," Oldham said.

"When the score came up 14.000 I thought it was still OK. It's not as much as I'd normally get but it was still a decent score.

"I knew I couldn't waiver as I had to keep positive for the team."

It was then Uchimura's low score on pommel horse came through, moving Britain temporarily into silver medal position, before the inquiry changed the order of the top three.

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."