Tag Archives: pommel

Louis Smith and Pat Rice receive MBEs

Medals of honour: Team GB heroes Smith, Baker and Hosking and Arsenal legend Pat Rice given gongs by the Queen

team were today honoured at Buckingham Palace by the Queen.

Gymnast Louis Smith, who scooped silver on the pommel horse and bronze in the men's team competition, described being awarded the MBE as 'the proudest moment of his life', but risked being turned away when he showed up having forgot his invitation.

He tweeted: 'Hahaha not the greatest start. @gabstone9 forgot our invites to Buckingham palace. Not quite as easy getting in as a school disco #oops

Member of the British Empire: Team GB gymnast Louis Smith is honoured by the Queen

Member of the British Empire: Team GB gymnast Louis Smith is honoured by the Queen

Sophie Hosking

Pat Rice

Rowing and football: Sophie Hosking and Pat Rice's respective contributions were also honoured

Dressed to impress: Louis Smith MBE with Arlene Phillips CBE at Buckingham Palace

Dressed to impress: Louis Smith MBE with Arlene Phillips CBE at Buckingham Palace

'Today is the day I become Louis Smith M.B.E ooooooo exciting times'

Natasha Baker, who was also honoured
for winning two gold medals in dressage at the Paralympics said the
occasion was 'absolutely incredible', but had earlier tweeted in a panic
over her fear of missing the ceremony.

Baker had been stuck in traffic on the M4 but eventually made it to Buckingham Palace on time. 'Stuck in traffic on M4 on my way to collect my #MBE . Any police around to give me an escort!' she tweeted.

Louis Smith

Britain's Natasha Baker

Olympians: Louis Smith and Natasha Baker were among Team GB's most impressive performers at the Games

'Tempted to get Jordan (scooter) out and drive to Buck Pal! Think she would be faster than this traffic! Don't think I'm going to get there!'

Sophie Hosking, winner of gold in lightweight women's double sculls, was presented with an MBE at the investiture ceremony.

Pat Rice

Rob McCracken

In their element: Pat Rice (centre) with the FA Cup won at Arsenal at his peak and boxing guru Rob McCracken

British Amateur Boxing Association performance director Rob McCracken, who overlooked a haul of five boxing medals at London 2012, also receives the MBE, as was former Arsenal assistant manager Pat Rice, who spent 44 years at the club, winning seven trophies as a coach.

2012 quiz of the year: Sportsmail"s review of a magical year

How much of a memorable 2012 can you really remember

PUBLISHED:

22:39 GMT, 23 December 2012

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 23 December 2012

2012 truly was one of the most memorable in British sporting history. But how much can you really remember From the summer glory of the Olympic Games to Andy Murray's US Open triumph, and everything in between, now you can test yourself on our 2012 review quiz.

Answers at the bottom….

Who was the torchbearer to carry the Olympic flame into the stadium ahead of the opening ceremony of the London Games

How many gold medals did Team GB win in total at London 2012 to finish third in the table — 29, 30 or 31

Name the athletes who won Team GB’s first and last Olympic gold medals

Who finished second to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in the final of the 100metres and 200m

Sir Chris Hoy became Britain’s most successful Olympian when he claimed a sixth gold in which track event at the Velodrome

Which Arsenal Ladies player scored in all three of the Team GB women’s football group wins, including a 1-0 victory over Brazil

Who added an Olympic gold to his world No 1 ranking in the double trap shooting at the Royal Artillery Barracks

After his success at London 2012, how many Olympic gold medals does sailor Ben Ainslie now hold — three, four or five

Which Team GB boxer won an historic gold medal in the women’s flyweight division

Who did Great Britain beat to record their only victory in the men’s basketball competition at the Nor th Greenwich Arena

Who won bronze for Team GB in the cycling time trial behind Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins

Name the scorer of Team GB’s first goal for the men’s football side against Senegal at Old Trafford.

Louis Smith and Max Whitlock claimed silver and bronze medals in the
pommel horse for Team GB, but can you name the other three members of
the gymnastics squad which secured an historic bronze in the all-round
event

Who won Britain’s first Olympic judo medals for 12 years in London

Samantha Murray won silver for Team GB in which event on the final day of London 2012

How many gold medals did Team GB win in total at London 2012 to finish third in the table — 29, 30 or 31

Name the athletes who won Team GB’s first and last Olympic gold medals

Who finished second to Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt in the final of the 100metres and 200m

Sir Chris Hoy became Britain’s most successful Olympian when he claimed a sixth gold in which track event at the Velodrome

Which Arsenal Ladies player scored in all three of the Team GB women’s football group wins, including a 1-0 victory over Brazil

Who added an Olympic gold to his world No 1 ranking in the double trap shooting at the Royal Artillery Barracks

After his success at London 2012, how many Olympic gold medals does sailor Ben Ainslie now hold – three, four or five

Which Team GB boxer won an historic gold medal in the women’s flyweight division

Who did Great Britain beat to record their only victory in the men’s basketball competition at the Nor th Greenwich Arena

Who won bronze for Team GB in the cycling time trial behind Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins

Name the scorer of Team GB’s first goal for the men’s football side against Senegal at Old Trafford.

Louis Smith and Max Whitlock claimed silver and bronze medals in the
pommel horse for Team GB, but can you name the other three members of
the gymnastics squad which secured an historic bronze in the all-round
event

Who won Britain’s first Olympic judo medals for 12 years in London

Samantha Murray won silver for Team GB in which event on the final day of London 2012

American Michael Phelps took his Olympic gold medals tally to how many with four more golds at London 2012

With whom did Olympic tennis champion Andy Murray win a silver medal in the mixed doubles, held at Wimbledon

Double Beijing gold medallist Rebecca Adlington won two bronzes in the
pool, but which British swimmer was the only other to finish on the
podium at the Aquatics Centre

Name the brothers who won gold and bronze for Team GB in the triathlon.

How many Paralympic gold medals did swimmer Ellie Simmonds win — two, three or four

Who was the youngest gold medallist for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics

Wheelchair athlete Dave Weir won how many golds for Britain at the Paralympics — three, four or five

Can you name the mascots for London 2012

At Euro 2012, who missed penalties as England went out to Italy in Kiev

Who topped the four leagues in English domestic football for 2011-2012

Which two Spanish sides contested the 2011-2012 Europa League final in Bucharest.

Who claimed the Golden Boot at Euro 2012

Where was the 2012 Champions League final between Chelsea and Bayern Munich played

Who did Liverpool beat on penalties to win the 2012 Carling Cup final at Wembley

Who scored the Republic of Ireland’s only goal at Euro 2012

Why was England batsman Kevin Pietersen sanctioned by the ECB during the summer of 2012

Which Somerset batsman finished top run scorer in the County Championship

Which two Irish sides contested the 2012 Heineken European Cup final at Twickenham

Who was the torchbearer to carry the Olympic flame into the stadium ahead of the opening ceremony of the London Games

Who finished bottom of the 2011-2012 Aviva Premiership table

Which nation completed the Grand Slam to win the 2012 RBS 6 Nations title

Who succeeded Jamie Peacock as England rugby league captain in 2012

Who won the Man of Steel award for 2012

Who took the chequered flag at the British Formula One Grand Prix in July

British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton announced in September that he would be leaving McLaren to join which team for 2013

Where was the ‘Circuit of the Americas’ which hosted Formula One’s return to the US in November

Whom did Andy Murray beat to win his first Grand Slam title at the US Open in September

Can you name the three other men’s tennis major winners this year

Which three women won Grand Slam titles in the singles this year

Which German knocked in the winning putt to complete Europe’s ‘Miracle
at Medinah’ when they came from 10-6 down on the final day to retain the
Ryder Cup

Who were the four major winners in 2012

At which course was The Open held

Which two British boxers were involved in an ugly brawl at the postfight
press conference following a world heavyweight title bout in February

Which horse won the Grand National

British boxer Ricky Hatton came out of retirement to fight which Ukrainian in November

Which Aidan O’Brien-trained horse won the Epsom Derby

2012 Sports quiz of the year

In the image above, can you spot Greg Rutherford, Usain Bolt, Andy Murray, Jessica Ennis, Oscar Pistorius, Mo Farah, Bradley Wiggins, David Weir, Nicola Adams, Sir Chris Hoy
ANSWERS

2012 sports quiz of the year, answers

Strictly Come Dancing contestant Louis Smith could quit gymnastics

Strictly star Smith considers quitting gymnastics after London 2012 success

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UPDATED:

11:47 GMT, 21 September 2012

Team GB’s double Olympic medal-winning gymnast Louis Smith has said he could quit the sport before Rio 2016 because he may be ‘too old’ to challenge for a podium place.

At only 23, Smith, who won a bronze medal in the men’s team gymnastics and silver in the pommel horse at the London Games, also has other goals he wants to pursue.

Although the Peterborough gymnast is currently in training for both gymnastics and hit TV show Strictly Come Dancing, Smith wants to launch a clothing range or start a property business, and believes these other ventures would be incompatible with full-time training.

Game changer: Louis Smiith (right) is competing on Strictly Come Dancing

Game changer: Louis Smiith (right) is competing on Strictly Come Dancing

But Smith would be 27 in Rio, the same age as Krisztian Berki, the Hungarian who beat him to gold in London.

When asked whether retiring before the Brazil Games would be too early, Smith told Sportsmail: ‘It’s not to do with it (retirement) being early. It’s to do with being 27 and being past my day.

‘I mean, what happened in London, I was 23-years-old and in the peak of my career, I did the best routine of my life.

‘I’m not going to do better than that, so what am I going to achieve in Rio Another bronze Another silver It’s not going to compare to this summer.’

‘Like I said, I would love to get to Rio, but it (retirement) is an option. I have got to think about life, life is bigger than Rio.’

Game over Smith could quit gymnastics rather than compete in Rio

Game over Smith could quit gymnastics rather than compete in Rio

He added: ‘I wouldn’t class it as giving up or quitting. I can look back on my career and I have 11 major international competition medals.

‘I’ve got three Olympic medals, I can look back and say if I was to retire, “I have had a fantastic run”. I wouldn’t be giving up, I would be retiring on a massive high.

‘But I’ve got to think about my future. I’ve got a lot of things that I want to do. Like my fashion range, my clothing range, my property – I want to set up a business.

‘I can’t really do all those things and train full-time so I will make a decision about what I am going to do.’

For now though, Smith is starring in the new series of BBC ballroom dance show Strictly Come Dancing.

Silver lining: Smith finished second in the pommel horse competition

Silver lining: Smith finished second in the pommel horse competition

Although used to spending hours training to be among the world’s best on the pommel horse, Smith said the regime for the TV show was just as tough.

Smith, who was running a training session for children at his gym in Peterborough for Sky Sports Living for Sports, said: ‘To be completely honest, it’s hard work. My body’s aching, I’m getting ill, I’m getting run down.

‘Lots of people say you must find it easy compared to gym. But it is hard work, to do what they do.

‘I train 10 to 4 and then my partner will stay longer and carry on dancing. I’m in bits.’

Louis Smith is supporting Sky Sports Living for Sport, a free secondary schools initiative that uses sport stars and sport skills to skills to improve the lives of thousands young people across the UK.

Find out more and get involved at: www.skysports.com/livingforsport

London 2012 Olympics: Gymnastics: Louis Smith unsure which routine to do on pommelhorse

Smith playing Russian roulette as gymnast will wait until last minute to decide which routine to perform on pommelhorse

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 3 August 2012

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Louis Smith will wait until the very last moment to decide which one of three pommel horse routines is best suited to bring him the gold he has trained 19 years to win.

Smith goes last in Sunday's final, beginning at 3.41pm, and he will watch all his competitors complete their efforts before choosing between easier, moderate or harder options. He is not afraid to go for broke if required.

Each routine comes with a different starting difficulty and Smith’s privileged position, earned by finishing top in qualifying, means he can calculate, seconds before taking hold of the apparatus, which one should give him a winning score. ‘Only my coach will know,’ Smith, 23, told Sportsmail of the selection.

Good form: Louis Smith is unsure which routine he will do in the pommelhorse event

Good form: Louis Smith is unsure which routine he will do in the pommelhorse event

‘If my main rival, Krisztian Berki,
goes through his routine and puts in a high score, it gives me the
opportunity to think, “OK, maybe I need to try my harder routine.” My
easy routine is still the hardest in the world.’

The key part is the so-called
‘Russian’ element, which involves rotating on a single handle, legs
stretched out, face towards the pommel. It takes immense strength and
quick hands. A common fault is that the legs split, meaning deductions,
or worse still a fall, leading to a whole point being struck off and
almost certain defeat.

Most gymnasts go for a three-quarter
rotation but Smith does a minimum of one full circle. He can also do two
rotations – a Double Russian – or even three – a Triple Russian. It is
Russian roulette, of sorts.

Smith pulled off this toughest move at
the British Championships in June to record a huge 16.375 points, his
personal best and one of the highest scores ever achieved on pommel.

The pommelhorse is one of the toughest events in the gymnastics programme

The pommelhorse is one of the toughest events in the gymnastics programme

The pommelhorse is one of the toughest events in the gymnastics programme

He said: ‘That’s the key difficulty
stage. It’s just ridiculous. For me it’s probably got a 30 per cent
record of going clean, including training. So it’s not the easiest skill
to do, let alone at an Olympic Games final. But, you know, great risk
can bring great reward.’

In qualifying Smith played it slightly
safer, pulling off one full Russian to record 15.800, still well ahead
of France’s Cyril Tommasone, last year’s world championship silver
medallist, who qualified second on 15.333.

Berki, meanwhile, has become a
two-time world champion on pommel by executing simpler routines to near
perfection. In qualification the 27-year-old erred, though, scoring a
modest 15.033 to go into the final ranked fifth.

Smith told Sportsmail he wasn’t
surprised by the slip up because, despite his age, this is the
Hungarian’s Olympic debut. Smith expects Berki, who won the 2011 world
title with a 15.833 score, to be back with a vengeance when it matters.

Eyes on the prize: Louis Smith has been training for 19 years for this moment

Eyes on the prize: Louis Smith has been training for 19 years for this moment

Bronze not enough: Smith was delighted to win bronze in the team event, but is eyeing gold in the pommelhorse

Bronze not enough: Smith was delighted to win bronze in the team event, but is eyeing gold in the pommelhorse

‘It will be completely different in
the final,’ Smith said. ‘This is his first Olympic Games. When I went to
Beijing I quickly understood that nothing compared. There was no World
Championships or European Championships that could prepare me for an
Olympic Games.

‘So I knew when he competed at this he
was going to be feeling the pressure. He’s only here to do pommels. The
Olympics comes round every four years, it’s his first one.

'He missed
Beijing, he’s had to wait eight years to get to an Olympic Games and he
was feeling the pressure.

‘You know, he’s getting on a bit, I
don’t know how much longer he’s got in the sport. So it really was a do
or die situation for him. To be fair he did what he needed to do and
made the final. But I always thought he’d be a little bit shaky.

‘He’s going to feel massive relief,
he’s going to feel a lot less stressful now he’s in the final. You can
bet you’ll see a different Berki in the final.'

Do not interpret this as Premier
League mind games from Smith, he is merely speaking his mind.

He adds of
those who might challenge him for the crown: 'I don’t try and
interfere. I’ll just leave them to themselves, I’ll go and say good luck
and then just let them do what they need to do.

'If every single person in the final
goes through their routines, it will be a real fight for first place.
It's going to be intense, a real clash of the titans. Hopefully I can
get through my routine.’

Should he do that it will likely lead to Britain's first ever gymnastics gold medal at an Olympics.

London 2012 Olympics gymnastics: Beth Tweddle backed for gold by Olga Korbut

Tweddle backed to earn Olympic gold by gymnastics legend Korbut

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UPDATED:

11:03 GMT, 3 August 2012

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Gymnast Beth Tweddle will win Olympic gold and herald the start of a new era of British gymnastics, according to four-time champion Olga Korbut.

Tweddle will make her final bid for an Olympic medal in Monday's uneven bars final, the day after Beijing bronze medallist Louis Smith mounts his challenge for glory on the pommel horse.

The British men's five made history on Monday night when they won the first Olympic team medal in a century but Korbut, who claimed four golds in the 1972 Munich Games, believes this is only the beginning for the sport in this country.

Going for gold: Beth Tweddle has been backed by Olga Korbut

Going for gold: Beth Tweddle has been backed by Olga Korbut

Tweddle faces stiff competition from world uneven bars champion Viktoria Komova, reigning Olympic champion He Kexin of China and newly crowned individual all-around champion, Gabrielle Douglas of the United States, but Korbut has backed her to win her first Olympic title.

'Beth Tweddle is not at an Olympics for the first time and she will beat Viktoria Komova,' Korbut said.

'I do not hope she will win, I know she will win. She has big potential. She is very competitive and has a lot of experience.

'I don't think she is so much better but she has something. I like her.'

Former Soviet Union gymnast Korbut shot to fame 40 years ago at the Munich Games where she revolutionised gymnastics, introducing new complex moves on beam and bars, known as the 'Korbut Flip', and prompting renewed worldwide interest in the sport.

Old school: Korbut in action at the 1972 games

Old school: Korbut in action at the 1972 games

The 57-year-old, who was nicknamed the 'Sparrow from Minsk' during her Olympic heyday, believes the achievements of the British gymnastics team, especially the men, will help to revolutionise the sport in this country.

'I think the British men can do for gymnastics in this country what I did in 1972,' Korbut said.

'They are tremendous. What they are doing now is making the impossible, possible.

'Look at them, the men and women. Hello – very good. They will bring more men to gymnastics which means you can choose more.

'This Olympic Games is just the beginning for British gymnastics. You will see.'

London 2012 Olympics: Kohei Uchimura wins individual all-round gold as Kristian Tomas finished sixth

British boys fail to add to gymnastic bronze as Japan's Uchimura makes no mistake this time

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UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 1 August 2012

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Japan's Kohei Uchimura won individual all-round gold at the North Greenwich arena as British duo Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis secured Britain's best ever result in the Olympic competition.

Uchimura, who won silver in the all-around four years ago in Beijing, was not at his scintillating best but scored 92.690 to see off the challenge of German Marcel Nguyen in silver medal position with American Danell Leyva in bronze, just under two points off the lead.

Britain's Thomas finished seventh and Purvis 13th, bettering the 20th-place finish earned by both Neil Thomas at the 1992 Barcelona Games and Daniel Keatings four years ago in Beijing.

Great Britain's gymnast Kristian Thomas

Best finish: Kristian Thomas

Great Britain's gymnast Daniel Purvis

Boost: Daniel Purvis

China's defending Olympic all-around champion Yang Wei retired after winning gold at his home Games, but with no Chinese gymnasts making the final, the title was destined for a different country.

American Leyva topped qualification ahead of Russian David Belyavskiy and Germany's Fabian Hambuchen with Uchimura down in ninth place.

However, Leyva and Hambuchen both faltered on the pommel horse, with the German having an inquiry into his score rejected, leaving the door wide open for their Japanese opponents, Uchimura and Kazuhito Tanaka, as Belyavskiy also looked slightly below par.

Japan's Kohei Uchimura

Golden boy: Japan's Kohei Uchimura

Japan's Kohei Uchimura

Parallel bars world champion Leyva
battled back from his shaky start and put himself in medal contention
with a strong set on the rings, an efficient vault and excellent bars
routine.

As the American hit back, Nguyen, the
reigning European parallel bars champion, scored 15.833 on his
specialist piece of apparatus before a strong high bar routine lifted
him into the medal positions with one rotation to go.

Japan's Tanaka then saw his medal
hopes crumble thanks to a costly fall on his final piece of apparatus,
the pommel horse, to drop him into sixth place after he had spent the
majority of the competition in second.

Great Britain's gymnast Kristian Thomas

Silver medal: Germany's Marcel Nguyen

Silver medal: Germany's Marcel Nguyen

As Uchimura, who had almost cost Japan a team medal when he badly miscued his dismount from the pommel in the
final rotation before a successful appeal secured silver, played it safe on high
bar then finished off on floor, smiling to the crowd safe in the
knowledge he had secured his first Olympic gold medal, Leyva moved up
into silver medal position after nailing his high bar routine.

But Nguyen – the last gymnast to
finish – was not done, scoring 15.300 on his final piece of apparatus,
the floor, to snatch silver from the American in a dramatic finale.

London 2012 Olympics: Louis Smith"s mother hoping for tears of joy

Louis's mum hoping for tears of joy as Smith readies himself for final showdown

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 July 2012

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When Louis Smith burst into tears after his pommel horse routine on Saturday his mother Elaine could do nothing but join in.

'I was crying because he was crying and I just wanted to hug him,' she said after watching her son help a Great Britain gymnastics team reach the Olympic final for the first time in 88 years.

'Louis told me that there was a lot going on in his mind,' said Elaine, a hairdresser who has largely brought up Smith on her own on the outskirts of Peterborough.

Teary eyed: Louis Smith broke down after his gymnastics performance on Saturday

Teary eyed: Louis Smith broke down after his gymnastics performance on Saturday

That's my boy: Smith's mum, Elaine (left), began to cry after her son started

That's my boy: Smith's mum, Elaine (left), began to cry after her son started

'It was an explosion of relief and emotion. He was apparently really quiet in the training gym beforehand. He is normally laughing and joking.'

Smith – one of Sportsmail's Magnificent Seven – and his team-mates Daniel Purvis, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Sam Oldham finished third overall in qualification behind USA and Russia and ahead of Olympic champions China at the North Greenwich Arena.

The 23-year-old, who won bronze on the pommel horse four years ago in Beijing, put in a near-flawless display to also secure his place in the individual pommel final on Sunday.

Near-flawless: Smith was sensational for Team GB on Saturday

Near-flawless: Smith was sensational for Team GB on Saturday

Near-flawless: Smith was sensational for Team GB on Saturday

But he couldn't contain his emotion afterwards. 'The team had done so well,' Elaine said.

'He didn't want to let anybody down. I've never seen him do that before. I've texted him telling him to enjoy the final.

'He replied “I'll try”. He normally just says “thanks” so he must be feeling a bit different. Wouldn't it be lovely to get a medal They've worked so hard.'

A repeat performance on Monday – the final starts at 4.30pm – would no doubt earn them a medal but it will be no easy feat with China surely capable of improving.

Whitlock will be joining Smith in Sunday's pommel final while Thomas and Purvis reached Wednesday's allround final. Thomas will also contest the vault final a week today.

London 2012 Olympics: Louis Smith breaks down in gymnastics event

Louis reigns on his horse: Tears flow as Smith leads Britain's gymnasts in their greatest display

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UPDATED:

22:38 GMT, 28 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Sporting a brash Mohican haircut but sobbing with joy, Louis Smith stole the show for Team GB in a rare celebratory moment for the home country on day one of the London Games.

No medals have been won and plenty of hard work lies ahead, but Smith not only led the British men’s team to their greatest gymnastics display at the North Greenwich Arena, but also finished top of the pommel horse qualification, raising the prospect he could secure Britain’s first ever gymnastics gold medal next Sunday in the individual final.

But first there is a team final to negotiate tomorrow, where the Brits have a shock chance of a medal after finishing third in qualifying, behind the USA and Russia, having beaten off the challenge of Olympic champions China and qualified for their first team final since 1924.

Tearful: Louis Smith broke down after his pommel horse routine on the opening day

Tearful: Louis Smith broke down after his pommel horse routine on the opening day

Tearful: Louis Smith broke down after his pommel horse routine on the opening day

Though there was a team of heroes, with Kristian Thomas producing the most surprising performances, Smith raised the loudest cheers with a superb display in his speciality, the pommel horse.

When his score of 15.800 flashed up on the screen to roars, Smith’s lips tightened, the hands came up to his face and the tears flowed.

For Smith has borne the weight of expectation into these Games as a bronze medallist in Beijing, Britain’s first individual gymnastics medal since 1908, the first London Games.

Balance: Smith competes on the pommel horse as bids for Olympic glory

Balance: Smith competes on the pommel horse as bids for Olympic glory

He was brought up on a council estate near Peterborough by a single mum. Hairdresser Elaine had helped her son overcome attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as a child by channelling his energy into gymnastics — and yesterday a lifetime of training came together.

‘It was just a dream competition,’ he said. ‘It was unbelievable. It’s been an emotional four years and there’s been a lot of pressure since Beijing to perform at this Olympics. There was a lot riding on it. I couldn’t help thinking about the future.

Impressive: Smith was part of the British team that shone in the gymnastics event

Impressive: Smith was part of the British team that shone in the gymnastics event

‘I said “Come on” to myself twice in my pommel horse routine and I’ve never done that before. It’s hard to explain what I felt when I landed that routine. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life.’

European champions Britain failed at last year’s world championships and qualified for the Olympics only at the test event here in January.

Bond: Smith hugs teammate Kristian Thomas after the men's qualification session

Bond: Smith hugs teammate Kristian Thomas after the men's qualification session

Now as well as Monday’s team final, Smith and Max Whitlock have the individual pommel final to look forward to. Thomas and Daniel Purvis made the all-round individual final, for which both hope to push the medal contenders, while Thomas also made the vault final.

Thomas, who ranked fifth in the vault and all-round competition, could yet prove Britain’s biggest surprise.

London 2012 Olympics: Beth Tweddle and Louis Smith lead Team GB gymnastics squad

Tweddle and Smith to lead Team GB gymnastics medal charge, but Keatings misses out

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UPDATED:

14:59 GMT, 4 July 2012

Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle will lead the men's and women's artistic gymnastics teams at London 2012, but Daniel Keatings misses out.

Smith, who won bronze on the pommel horse at the Beijing Games four years ago, and three-time world champion Tweddle each head up a five-strong team for the Games, the British Olympic Association (BOA) have announce.

Keatings, the 2010 European pommel horse champion who competed with Smith as the only other male gymnast in the last Olympic Games, is not included while 15-year-old Rebecca Tunney becomes the youngest member of Team GB after being name in the women's team.

Winning team The GB Gymnastics squad has been revealed

Winning team The GB Gymnastics squad has been revealed

The men's team also comprises three-time British champion Daniel Purvis, 2010 European floor champion Kristian Thomas, Commonwealth Games double silver medallist Max Whitlock and 2012 Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Sam Oldham.

Vault specialist Ruslan Panteleymonov, who was part of the team which won their first European Gymnastics team gold medal in Montpellier this year, misses out.

The women's team, led by the experienced Tweddle, is made up of Tunney, who was recently crowned British champion in her first year of senior competition, 2012 European beam bronze medallist Hannah Whelan, three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Imogen Cairns and British beam champion Jennifer Pinches.

London 2012 will be the last chance for 27-year-old Tweddle to add an Olympic medal to her impressive record before she retires from the sport.
The seven-time British champion will be competing in her third Olympic Games and admitted it has been a long road since Beijing four years ago.

Tweddle said: 'It is of course a huge honour to be selected to Team GB for the Olympic Games. This is my third Olympics and with it being on home soil it is definitely the most special.

Going for gold: The men's artistic team (from right): Sam Oldham, Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith, Max Whitlock and Kristian Thomas

Going for gold: The men's artistic team (from right): Sam Oldham, Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith, Max Whitlock and Kristian Thomas

'From Beijing to here has been a long journey. After 2008 I wasn't even sure I would carry on but the huge support for London and the enthusiasm of the public has really motivated me.'

Smith, who won Great Britain's first individual gymnastics medal in 100 years when he claimed bronze in Beijing, said: 'It's been such an intense time in the lead up to the announcement with such a strong squad to pick from.

'Now we've got to do the business at the Games, which we're all capable of.

'It's just been a crazy four years since Beijing, for me and especially for gymnastics in this country.

'I'm not sure anyone ever expected such rapid development and it's such a positive thing for everyone involved in the sport.'

The GB rhythmic gymnastics team, who secured their place at the Games following an appeal, was also named today.

Captain Rachel Smith will lead a six-strong team of Louisa Pouli, Francesca Fox, Georgina Cassar, Jade Faulkner and Lynne Hutchison. Francesca Jones will also represent Team GB in the individual rhythmic event.

In trampoline, Kat Driscoll will fill the only spot available for Great Britain.
The British champion earned a place in the women's competition at last year's World Championships in Birmingham, with the men missing out.

Team GB – Gymnastic teams

Men's artistic gymnastics team for
London 2012 (age): Louis Smith (23), Daniel Purvis (21), Kristian Thomas
(23), Max Whitlock (19), Sam Oldham (19).

Women's artistic gymnastics team for
London 2012 (age): Beth Tweddle (27), Rebecca Tunney (15), Hannah Whelan
(20), Imogen Cairns (23), Jennifer Pinches (18).

Rhythmic gymnastics team for London
2012 (age): Rachel Smith (captain, 19), Georgina Cassar (18), Jade
Faulkner (18), Lynne Hutchison (17), Louisa Pouli (22), Francesca Fox
(20).

Individual rhythmic gymnast for 2012: Francesca Jones (21).

Trampoline (age): Katherine Driscoll (26).

Daniel Purvis defends British title after posting enormous score at final Olympic trial

Purvis defends British title after posting enormous score at final Olympic trial

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UPDATED:

16:08 GMT, 23 June 2012

Daniel Purvis was crowned British senior all-around gymnastics champion for the third straight year after posting a huge score of 91.550 points in the final Olympic trial at Liverpool's Echo Arena.

The 21-year-old from Southport recorded clean routines on all pieces, including 15.750 on an outstanding floor programme, to give the selectors a timely reminder of his talents with the five-man British team for London 2012 due to be announced on July 4.

Top man: Purvis

Top man: Purvis

Purvis said: 'It's brilliant to win the title again and with it being the final Olympic trial it's even more special.

'I felt good out there today and my routines were all clean so it's really encouraging looking ahead to the team selection.'

Sam Oldham claimed silver with 90.050, sealing second spot with a solid high-bar routine, with Daniel Keatings (90.700) particularly impressing on the parallel bars and pommel on his way to bronze.

'The event was really close between a lot of the top lads and with three of us scoring over 90 it again proves the amazing talent we have in the squad,' Purvis added.

'For me now it's all about waiting for that phone call and just hoping I'm confirmed for the team. My form over the year has been good so it's all looking really positive.'

Oldham and Keatings were equally thrilled with their medals.

'That was incredible – better than I could ever have hoped for,' Oldham said. 'To go clean on all pieces and take a medal is brilliant. I knew I just had to go for it today – it's the last chance to impress and I nailed it.'

Keatings added: 'I'm just so happy. The past couple of months have been really tough for me battling through injury but I've tried to stay positive and this was always the focus.

'I just hope I've done enough to get on the team, but with the talent in the squad I know it's going to be a close call.'

Kristian Thomas (89.550) slipped down to fourth after a fall on the high bars, with Max Whitlock (89.350) fifth and Ruslan Panteyleymonov (86.800) sixth.