Smith happy to rise to the occasion

  • Last Updated: July 29 2014, 20:41 BST

Louis Smith proved he still has what it takes even though some critics have dismissed his gymnastics comeback as "crazy" after he helped England claim their first Commonwealth team gold medal since 2002.

England's Louis Smith performs on the parallel bars
England's Louis Smith performs on the parallel bars

England team-mate Sam Oldham suffered an ankle injury on the vault which ruled him out of competing in the parallel bars, meaning pommel horse specialist Smith had to step up and absorb the pressure knowing his score on the apparatus was suddenly crucial to his team's medal hopes.

The Olympic silver medallist produced a clean routine which kept his country on course for the top spot on the podium, with Nile Wilson, Kristian Thomas and Max Whitlock all keeping their nerves in check on the last piece of apparatus, the high bar, to secure gold.

"I wasn't expecting that type of pressure but in the build up to all this," Smith said. "I was always a relaxed parallel bars worker knowing it wasn't always going to count, but today the tables turned quite viciously, but I got the job done.

"It wasn't the best routine but it was good enough to see us through."

When asked why he had chosen to come back and in order to compete in Glasgow following almost two years out after London 2012, Smith said: "This feeling, this vibe, this competition.

"Once you've been to one and you have the opportunity to perhaps get to another one you do everything to try and get there and that's what I did.

"It's hard and some people thought I was crazy and thought I wouldn't get there but it's happening."

England's men won the gold medal with a score of 266.804 ahead of Scotland's five of Frank Baines, Adam Cox, Liam Davie, Dan Keatings and Dan Purvis, who landed the country's first team silver with a total of 257.603, with Canada claiming bronze with 252.078.

Oldham left the arena in a wheelchair and although he returned to collect his medal, is unlikely to take part in individual finals.

"I think that would be a long shot," Oldham said. "I've got to wait on stuff but for now the priority is my health and world championships aren't that far away and I will wait on the results before I make any decisions."

England's women also won gold after they amassed a total of 167.555 to see off the challenge of Australia and Canada who finished in second and fourth place as Wales claimed bronze.

Becky Downie, Hannah Whelan, Ruby Harrold, Claudia Fragapane and Kelly Simm matched the achievements of England's men with an all-round strong performance over the two days of the team competition at the Hydro.

"I can't believe what we have just achieved. The whole team is really proud and I think it will take some time to sink in," Downie said.

Wales' team of Rear Theaker, Elizabeth Beddoe, Georgina Hockenhull, Jessica Hogg and Angel Romero won bronze with 160.095, just over a point and a half behind silver medallists Australia.

Whitlock topped the men's all-around qualifications with a total of 90.365 as the scores from team competition also doubled up as qualification marks for individual finals, while Fragapane topped the women's competition.

Wilson also qualified for the all-around final where Scotland will be represented by Keatings and Baines and Wales duo Clinton Purnell and Iwan Mepham.

Whitlock also qualified for the floor, pommel horse, rings, parallel bars and high bar finals while Thomas will go in the high bar and vault, Wilson on the rings, parallel bars and high bar and Smith on the pommel horse.

For Scotland, Keatings will contest the floor, pommel horse and high bar finals while Purvis has qualified on parallel bars, pommel horse and rings, Baines and Cox go again on vault with Baines also in action again on high bar and parallel bars.

Wales will be represented by Purnell on floor, vault and rings and Jac Davies on pommel horse.

England and Wales' women will have representation in each apparatus final, with Scotland's Emma White having qualified for the vault final.