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Max Whitlock: European Championships in April is the first stage on the road I hope to take to the 2016 Games

Max Whitlock: European Championships in April is the first of many stages before the 2016 Olympic Games

team-mate and boxer Anthony Joshua” class=”blkBorder” />

Close friend London 2012 team-mate and boxer Anthony Joshua

I loved watching the BBC Superstars programme a few months ago and it really inspired me – I’d absolutely love to do something like that and try out the different sports. I was watching it and wishing I could be on it, but I’d like to think I could have given Anthony Joshua a run for his money. He won it so easily!

I haven’t even tried some of the sports they did but I think I’d be alright at some of them. I’d like to think I’d be okay at the swimming and now I’m used to a bit of running so that would be okay, but I’ve never sat in a kayak so that might be a bit tough!

I’ve got some more competitions coming up so am busy preparing for those now. I’ve had the A category World Cup event in France last weekend and then the British Championships in Liverpool at the end of the month. That’s a trial for the European Championships which take place in April in Moscow, so that’s the next big competition to aim for.

Michael van Gerwen draws with Phil Taylor

Van Gerwen unable to hold out for win over The Power on thrilling opening night

runner-up Simon Whitlock was also a winner at the Odyssey Arena as he crushed a poor Adrian Lewis 7-3.

There was nothing to separate the players early on as the first five legs went with throw. But the Aussie struck a 121 finish to break and go 4-2 up before Lewis hit back immediately to reduce his arrears to 4-3.

Whitlock broke again, though, to lead 5-3 before hitting double top in the next leg to guarantee at least a draw. ‘The Wizard’ didn’t have to wait long to complete his win as the 10th leg summed up Lewis’s evening.

Eagle eyed: Simon Whitlock in action

Eagle eyed: Simon Whitlock in action

The two-time world champion missed six darts at a double and Whitlock stepped in to hit double eight and wrap up a comfortable win in Northern Ireland.

In the first match of the evening, Robert Thornton secured a 7-5 win over Andy Hamilton on his Premier League debut.

The UK Open champion raced into a 5-1 lead and appeared to be cruising towards victory before Hamilton fought back to level at 5-5.

But Thornton checked out a 120 finish against the throw in leg 11 before sealing a 7-5 victory in the deciding leg.

In week one’s other match, perennial Premier League slow starter James Wade earned his first opening-week win since 2008 as he cruised past debutant Wes Newton 7-4.

Phil Taylor to play Raymond van Barneveld in World Championships semi-final

Barney and Taylor in fine form as they prepare for semi-final showdown

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 December 2012

Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld will play their third match on the PDC World Darts Championship stage when they clash in a blockbuster semi-final on Sunday.

'The Power' romped to a 5-0 win over an out-of-sorts Andy Hamilton after Barney demolished Simon Whitlock 5-1 on Friday night at Ally Pally.

Taylor was in a ruthless mood as he dropped just two legs against the 2012 runner-up while Van Barneveld averaged 102.32 as he continued to make light work of a tough draw, following his 4-0 whitewash of Gary Anderson in the previous round.

In top form: Phil Taylor thrashed Andy Hamilton 5-0 in the quarter-finals

In top form: Phil Taylor thrashed Andy Hamilton 5-0 in the quarter-finals

The 15-time world champion pounced on a hatful of missed doubles from ‘The Hammer’ as he won the first six legs to take a two-set lead.

Hamilton finally registered his first leg when he held throw at the start of the third set before Taylor responded with a 78 checkout to level at 1-1.
And ‘The Power’ took advantage of Hamilton’s misfortune in the next leg as he broke the throw after ‘The Hammer’ came agonisingly close to a 146 checkout. Taylor then continued his dominant form as he wrapped up the set 3-1 before another clean sweep in the fourth set.

Hamilton then won his second leg of the match at the start of the fifth set but it wasn’t long before normal service was resumed for Taylor as he reeled off the next three legs to seal an emphatic whitewash.

Off his game: Hamilton missed some key doubles

Off his game: Hamilton missed some key doubles

He told Sky Sports: ‘It wasn’t easy but he just kept missing doubles. That game was all about finishing and Andy just kept letting me in. I knew if I could put him under pressure he was missing doubles. You’ve got to bully him, that’s what Andy does to other people.’

Van Barneveld said he no longer fears the 15-time world champion but Taylor said: ‘I think he does, why would he say it otherwise I’m not going to get into a slanging match with Barney because it is the semi that everyone wanted. If he doesn’t fear me then I’m going to have to make him.’

The man with the unenviable task of denying Taylor a 16th world title is Van Barneveld, who cast a spell over ‘The Wizard’ with a clinical performance.

The first three legs all went against throw with Van Barneveld edging 2-1 ahead. Whitlock had a chance to force a deciding leg but a missed 84 checkout let the Dutchman in to hit his favourite double 18 and take a high-quality first set 3-1.

Meaning business: Raymond van Barneveld eased into the semi-final with a win over Simon Whitlock

Meaning business: Raymond van Barneveld eased into the semi-final with a win over Simon Whitlock

Barney’s imperious start continued as he checked out 86 in the first leg of set two before a magical 135 checkout in the next leg broke ‘The Wizard’s’ throw. The five-time world champion hit double 10 in the next leg to seal a 2-0 lead before the Aussie fought back.

Whitlock won the third set 3-2 as all legs went with throw before breaking throw to lead 1-0 in the fourth. But Van Barneveld broke back with a 112 checkout before winning a pivotal deciding leg with an 86 checkout to go 3-1 ahead.

And the match was all but over as Barney broke at a crucial time in the fifth set to take a commanding 4-1 lead. With the set level at 2-2, Whitlock had the throw in the deciding leg with a chance to move just one set behind, but it was the Dutchman who hit double four to put himself on the brink of a semi-final place.

End of the road: Whitlock's World Championship was brought to an end by Van Barneveld

End of the road: Whitlock's World Championship was brought to an end by Van Barneveld

Barney knew the importance of that break as tears of joy started to run down his face. The five-time world champion had the throw in the next set and he checked out 91 on Whitlock’s throw before closing out the set 3-0 and the match 5-1.

He told Sky Sports: 'When I knew I was playing Simon I thought it was going to be a 5-4 or 5-3 game. Simon has a good record against me but that was a different Van Barneveld. I won the Grand Slam and believed in myself and thought “just play the board, not the opponent”.’

When asked about his emotional cry at the end of the fifth set, Barney said: ‘I’ve had so many times when I was missing so many doubles and it meant so much for me that that dart went in to win that set. I was so emotional there because I’ve put so much time and effort in.’

'I’m not scared,’ said Van Barneveld about playing Taylor in the semis. ‘I want to play the best players in the world.’

The two remaining quarter-final matches will be played on Saturday night and they are every bit as mouth-watering as Friday’s double header.

Reigning champion Adrian Lewis plays red hot Dutchman Michael van Gerwen with a repeat semi-final against James Wade on the cards. ‘The Machine’, who led Lewis 5-1 before losing 6-5 last year, takes on Wes Newton.

Raymond Van Barneveld beats Gary Anderson at World Darts Championship

Van Barneveld dismisses Anderson to set up World Championship quarter-final with Whitlock

PUBLISHED:

00:06 GMT, 28 December 2012

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UPDATED:

00:08 GMT, 28 December 2012

Raymond van Barneveld produced a clinical display on Thursday night at Alexandra Palace as he brushed aside an out-of-sorts Gary Anderson 4-0.

The five-time world champion set up a last-eight tie with Simon Whitlock when he averaged 93.35 against ‘The Flying Scotsman’ who had a shocking double success rate of just 18%.

Reigning champion Adrian Lewis and pre-tournament second favourite Michael van Gerwen also advanced to the quarter-finals on a star-studded day at the World Darts Championship.

Clinical: Van Barneveld averaged 93.35 against Anderson

Clinical: Van Barneveld averaged 93.35 against Anderson

The match was all but over at the start of the fourth set despite a few finishing problems for the Dutchman. Both players missed doubles in the opening leg before Barney hit double five to break throw.

Van Barneveld then held throw to lead
2-0 before the third leg saw a hatful of missed doubles before Barney
eventually hit double three to book his place in the quarter-finals.

He
told Sky Sports: ‘I was surprised Gary missed a lot of doubles. I
played well in the first set and held my throw to go 3-0 and just
thought “hold your legs and you will be alright”.

‘Gary
Anderson hit 19 180s against John Bowles and survived three match
darts. You can hit 180s but you have to hit your doubles. Averages are
fantastic but you have to hit the doubles.

Quarter-finalist: Van Barneveld will face Whitlock next

Quarter-finalist: Van Barneveld will face Whitlock next

‘When I saw the draw I thought “Wow it is really hard for my opponents”.’

Defending champion Lewis also won his third-round tie on Thursday night despite a mid-match blip against Kevin Painter.

‘Jackpot’
forged into a 2-0 lead before ‘The Artist’ fought back to level at 2-2,
only for Lewis to win the next two sets to seal a 4-2 win.

Defending champion: Lewis hopes to retain his title

Defending champion: Lewis hopes to retain his title

In the first match of the evening, Van Gerwen overcame a foot injury and the challenge of Colin Lloyd 4-1 to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final tie with Lewis.

The Dutchman, who averaged 98.96, came out firing on all cylinders as he raced to the opening set in under eight minutes.

And despite a third-set blip to allow ‘Jaws’ back into the match, Van Gerwen won six of the next seven legs to advance to the last eight.

Injured: But Van Gerwen shrugged off a foot problem to beat Lloyd

Injured: But Van Gerwen shrugged off a foot problem to beat Lloyd

In the afternoon session, 2010 runner-up Whitlock edged past Dave Chisnall 4-3 in a gripping contest.

‘The Wizard’ led three times but saw his advantage wiped out on every occasion and was forced into a deciding set.

Chisnall then took a 3-2 lead in the final set before the Aussie hit a stunning 152 checkout to draw level on his way to winning the final set 5-3.

Whitlock said: ‘When I fell 3-2 down in the final set I was well aware that I had to produce something special and I did that with the 152 finish.’

Barrier: Whitlock faces Van Barneveld next

Barrier: Whitlock faces Van Barneveld next

DAY 11 RESULTS

Afternoon Session
Wes Newton 4-1 Mark Walsh
Simon Whitlock 4-3 Dave Chisnall
James Wade 4-0 Vincent van der Voort

Evening Session
Michael van Gerwen 4-1 Colin Lloyd
Gary Anderson 0-4 Raymond van Barneveld
Adrian Lewis 4-2 Kevin Painter

Elsewhere, James Wade cruised into the quarter-finals as he beat Dutchman Vincent van der Voort 4-0.

‘The Machine’ averaged a lacklustre 89.61 in comparison to ‘The Dutch Destroyer’s’ 95.7, but Van der Voort’s poor finishing cost him dear as Wade only dropped five legs.

Wade will play Wes Newton in the last eight as ‘The Warrior’ beat Mark Walsh 4-1 in the first match of the day.

Seven of the world’s top eight players remain in contention for the 2013 World Darts Championship as the quarter-finals kick off on Friday.

The full draw for the last eight is:

Taylor v Hamilton (Friday)

Whitlock v Van Barneveld (Friday)

Lewis v Van Gerwen (Saturday)

Newton v Wade (Saturday)

Simon Whitlock advances in the World Darts Championship after beating Haruki Muramatsu

Magic! The Wizard wins with an easy victory over Muramatsu

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UPDATED:

01:02 GMT, 20 December 2012

Former World Championship finalist Simon Whitlock barely broke sweat on day six at Alexandra Palace as he breezed past Japanese qualifier Haruki Muramatsu 3-0.

The Wizard averaged 95.5 as he brushed aside the spirited Muramatsu in straight sets and moved into the second round of the World Darts Championship, where he will play Colin Osborne.

There was some uncharacteristic double trouble for Whitlock in the first leg as a hat-trick of missed double 10s allowed the Japanese player to take an early lead.

No sweat: Simon The Wizard Whitlock barely broke sweat as he breezed past Haruki Muramatsu 3-0 in the World Darts Championship

No sweat: Simon The Wizard Whitlock barely broke sweat as he breezed past Haruki Muramatsu 3-0 in the World Darts Championship

But after hitting double 10 at the third attempt in leg two, The Wizard eased to a one-set lead as he hit a 13-dart finish in leg three before a double 16 in leg four to seal the set 3-1.

The pair held their own throw at the start of the second leg, before the Aussie moved ahead with a 48 checkout in leg three. Whitlock then secured the second set by the same 3-1 margin as the first with a 116 finish in leg four.

And Whitlock won the third set 3-1 as well as he secured the crucial break in leg three before finishing the match with a double 18 finish.

Home time: Dennis The Menace lost 3-1 to Ronnie The Rocket Baxter (below)

Home time: Dennis The Menace lost 3-1 to Ronnie The Rocket Baxter (below)

Ronnie Baxter

Ronnie Baxter also won on Wednesday night as he got the better of two-time world champion Dennis ‘The Menace’ Priestley 3-1.

The Rocket went two sets up and, after losing the third set in a deciding leg, closed out a four-set win against Priestley.

Baxter did the damage early on as he hit a 13-dart leg on the way to taking the opening set 3-1.

But The Menace had chances of his own as he missed two shots to win the second set, in the fourth leg, before losing it 3-2.

The third set also went to a deciding leg as this time it was Baxter’s turn to miss opportunities. The Rocket let five chances to take the match slip through his fingers and, as a result, was stretched to a fourth set.

But then it was Priestley’s turn to spurn opportunities and there was no coming back this time. After making a strong start to the set, Priestley missed four shots at a double to extend the match into a final set which left Baxter to seal the win by hitting double 10 in the deciding leg of set four.

Scare: Colin Lloyd had a massive scare against the American Darin Young but Jaws eventually won 3-2

Scare: Colin Lloyd had a massive scare against the American Darin Young but Jaws eventually won 3-2

2002 world finalist Colin Lloyd survived a massive scare as he beat American Darin Young 3-2 to set up a second round tie with former BDO world champion Mark Webster.

It was a match that swung one way and then another but Jaws eventually prevailed 6-4 in a dramatic fifth set.

Young took the opening set with a 144 checkout in leg four before Lloyd responded to take the second set in a deciding leg.

And, after a break each followed by a hold of throw apiece, Young hit double 16 to win the deciding leg of set three to take a 2-1 lead.

But the 2005 World Matchplay champion quickly wiped out the deficit as he took the fourth set 3-0 to send the match into a decider. Jaws held his own throw in the opening leg and then hit double 16 to break in leg two before a clinical 124 checkout sealed the set and brought him level.

And Lloyd appeared to be cruising towards victory as he broke in the opening leg of set five before a 64 checkout moved him 2-0 up.

But the drama had only just begun as Young won the next leg before capitalising on Lloyd’s missed 68 finish in leg four to level at 2-2 with a 77 checkout.

Jaws then went back ahead with a 51 checkout to break but the American followed up with a 115 checkout of his own and the players were locked at 3-3.

Dominant: Justin Pipe (pictured) won with an easy victory over Andy Jenkins

Dominant: Justin Pipe (pictured) won with an easy victory over Andy Jenkins

DAY SIX RESULTS

Justin Pipe 3-0 Andy Jenkins
Ronnie Baxter 3-1 Dennis Priestley
Colin Lloyd 3-2 Darin Young
Simon Whitlock 3-0 Haruki Muramatsu

But, after Young won the seventh leg to move 4-3 ahead, Lloyd reeled off three straight legs to seal a tense 6-4 final-set win.

In Wednesday’s other match, Justin Pipe started the night with a dominant 3-0 win over Andy Jenkins.

The 41-year-old from Taunton won the first two sets without dropping a leg before completing his easy victory with a 3-2 third-set win.

Thursday sees the remaining four first round matches take place with Dutch duo Vincent van der Voort and World Grand Prix champion Michael van Gerwen topping the bill. Kim Huybrechts is also in action before round two begins on Friday afternoon at Ally Pally.

Louis Smith wants rule change after being denied Olympics gold

Give me the gold! Smith wants rule change after being denied pommel horse glory

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UPDATED:

13:52 GMT, 19 August 2012

Louis Smith has called for a change in the gymnastics points scoring system after he missed out on an Olympic gold medal he believes he should have won.

The 23-year-old scored the same as arch-rival Krisztian Berki of Hungary in the pommel horse final at London 2012 but was demoted to the silver medal position after a tie-break ruled in his opponent's favour due to his higher execution score.

Smith and double pommel horse world champion Berki both scored 16.066, but the British gymnast believes he should have been crowned Olympic champion as his routine was technically more difficult.

Gold standard Smith feels he did enough to win his event at Olympics

Gold standard Smith feels he did enough to win his event at Olympics

'I think I should have won the gold and he should have won the silver,' Smith said.

'I don't care about sharing medals. My routine was harder and there was more risk involved so I think it should have gone in my favour.

'When the code changed from being scored out of 10 to being scored higher it was supposed to encourage more difficult and more flamboyant routines, so to be penalised for that in the end doesn't make sense.

'I think that needs to be re-looked at, and if they do, hopefully get me a gold.

'If someone has a harder start score it means they are putting more into their routine to make it more exciting and that should be rewarded.'

However Smith, who revealed he is unlikely to compete at the next Games in Rio, believes Britain will continue their success in gymnastics after their four-medal haul in London – his pommel horse silver, Max Whitlock's bronze on the same apparatus, uneven bars bronze for Beth Tweddle and a team bronze for the men's team.

Grin and bear it: Smith had to console himself with silver medal in London

Grin and bear it: Smith had to console himself with silver medal in London

Britain boasts several talented juniors who look set to follow Whitlock and team-mate Sam Oldham up through the ranks and into the senior team – and medal contention.

Frank Baines is reigning European junior all-around champion and he won the title ahead of fellow Briton Nile Wilson, with Courtney Tulloch also crowned junior European rings champion last year.

'I'm confident gymnastics will go from strength to strength,' said Smith, who supports the nationwide grassroots campaign, 'Join In Local Sport'.

'We had a dream competition this Olympic Games and although there might be a dip in the next few competitions because you can't expect every competition to be a dream competition, we're certainly on the rise.

'In the next World Championships we might just make one final or win one medal, by the time the Olympics come round again we're going to have a much stronger team and a much better team.'

Join in: Smith and Daley Thompson are part of the scheme to get more young people involved in sport

Join in: Smith and Daley Thompson are part of the scheme to get more young people involved in sport

To find out what events are happening near you, simply go to the Join In website – www.joininuk.org – and enter your post code.

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: 5 Live still the place to be for great show

Nick Metcalfe: 24 TV channels… but Olympics is simply better on the radio

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UPDATED:

14:41 GMT, 10 August 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

It's funny, you know. TV Technology may advance in startling ways, but the way I follow sport's greatest show hasn't really changed. It is first and foremost still a radio event for me.

Yes, when the marquee moments arrive: a Usain Bolt sprint for gold or Michael Phelps' attempt for another medal, it's useful to find a television if you can.

But on a day to day basis, for the nuts and bolts of this overwhelming show, it’s the wireless that is permanently close at hand.

It was ever thus in truth. The radio has helped guide me through the Games since the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Another special moment: Sam Oldham, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas celebrate winning gymnastics bronze for Britain

Another special moment: Sam Oldham, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas celebrate winning gymnastics bronze for Britain

The memory banks are full of magical
moments. I well remember waking in the middle of the night to hear Ian
Darke describe Ben Johnson's infamous 100m win at the Seoul Olympics.
Late nights with John Inverdale were a common feature of the Atlanta
Games. I was stuck on a train station when a delirious John Rawling
shouted Britain’s sprint relay team to victory in Athens.

And it has been that way again during this stunning fortnight, and probably more than ever before, even though there have never been so many television options. The radio, tuned to Five Live, has simply been invaluable as I tear across the capital during this unique event.

When Britain won their historic gymnastics bronze in the first week, I was on the DLR listening to Alison Mitchell and team at the North Greenwich Arena.

When Gemma Gibbons emotionally reached her judo final, I was wolfing down a sandwich outside the ExCel Arena listening to Eleanor Oldroyd.

When the crowd at the velodrome sang along with Sir Paul McCartney, I was walking through Stratford's Westfield Centre, tuned to Colin Murray. I think you get the idea.

Not everything is perfect about 5 Live, but it has to said that the station has mastered the art of covering the big event.

Leading the singing: Sir Paul McCartney at the velodrome

Leading the singing: Sir Paul McCartney at the velodrome

Nicky Campbell has shown over
breakfast that he is simply one of the best broadcasters in the business
(‘QVC are going to have a problem with their viewing figures tonight’ he has
just said, on the day of the men's 200m final).

It’s
always fantastic to hear Simon Brotherton describe cycling, and after
gorging on an historic Tour de France earlier in the summer, the
Olympics has proved to be a delightful bonus. Brotherton certainly coped
a lot better than his television counterparts on the opening weekend,
when a lack of information from Olympic Broadcasting Services badly
affected coverage of the men’s cycling road race.

Alan Green will always infuriate many listeners, but I maintain his rowing commentaries have been among the genuine highlights of recent Games. Indeed, his description of Sir Steve Redgrave’s fifth gold medal in Sydney is one of the very best of our lifetimes. As the successes kept coming at Eton, Green was very much at home.

As for the presenting teams, I'll be surprised if the station don’t use Peter Allen and Colin Murray again at some stage in the future, as they feed off other very nicely.

Much has been very good, but I don’t want to sound like a cheerleader, and some of the coverage has grated too. Why, for example, must 5 Live be at the forefront of the campaign to get us all using the absurd marketing slogan ‘Team GB’

Colin Murray

Alan Green

Voices of the Games: Presenter Colin Murray (left) and commentator Alan Green (right)

I can’t have been the only person thinking ‘calm down’ when Victoria Derbyshire is on duty. And I certainly wouldn’t have been the only one wincing when England’s rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson wrongly told listeners that Britain’s men’s cycling sprint team had been disqualified in the velodrome, not the women.

It’s a bit clichd to complain about the BBC having a penchant for former sports stars rather than trained journalists, but they don’t always help themselves.

Make no mistake however, this has been another radio Olympics that will live long in the memory. I’ve lost count of the number of television reviews I’ve read, with accompanying opinions of Gabby, John, Clare and all the others I hope that I’ve redressed the balance a little here, because the older medium has once again been in its element.

London 2012 Olympics: Men"s artistic team win first gymnastic medal since 1912

Fantastic gymnastic! Men's artistic team win first medal since 1912

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UPDATED:

22:11 GMT, 30 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Great Britain had a silver medal snatched away from them by Japan in the men’s gymnastics team event last night, but celebrated the ‘miracle’ of their first team bronze for 100 years.

Louis Smith, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis, Sam Oldham and Kristian Thomas were in second place after the final round but saw Japan win an appeal which pushed the home team into bronze position.

Jumping for joy: GBs gymnastics team (from left) Kristian Thomas, Sam Oldham, Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith and Max Whitlock celebrate

Jumping for joy: GBs gymnastics team (from left) Kristian Thomas, Sam Oldham, Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith and Max Whitlock celebrate

But Smith, who won individual bronze on the pommel horse in Beijing four years ago, said: ‘For us, this is a dream come true. To get a bronze medal is a miracle. Silver, bronze, it doesn’t matter. We have the bronze medal on our necks, who cares about silver

‘We set out to come top six or top five; to enjoy ourselves. To get a medal was unbelievable.

‘I’m happy for Japanese. They are the pinnacle. All of us want to be as good as them. If the judges got something wrong and they deserve to win a medal then that is good enough for me and all of us.’

In the medals: The team pose for a photo after their award ceremony

In the medals: The team pose for a photo after their award ceremony

Japan’s Kohei Uchimura’s final score was bumped up by 0.7 after officials decided they had misjudged his dismount from the pommel horse.

The appeal saw Japan take silver behind China, with Ukraine left without a medal in fourth.

The last time we won a medal

Britain’s bronze in Stockholm in 1912 (below) was their last medal in team gymnastics at the Olympics. There were no Lycra outfits, but gymnasts wore knickerbockers and stockings. Rope-climbing was a discipline and powerhouses China, Japan and USA were nowhere to be seen.

Sport, 1912 Olympic Games, Stockholm, Sweden, Gymnastics, The Mens Team Combined Exercises, Great Britain, the Bronze medal winners (Photo by Bob Thomas/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

London 2012 Olympics: Great Britain win gymnastics bronze medal

British boys win historic bronze medal in team gymnastics with stunning show

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UPDATED:

18:17 GMT, 30 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Great Britain have won the bronze medal in the men's gymnastics team final with a stunning performance.

After reaching the final for the first time since 1922, the home nation were involved in a thrilling fight with Ukraine.

Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas delivered on the floor to ensure a place on the podium.

More to follow…

Historic moment: Britain's men celebrate winning the bronze medal in the team event

Historic moment: Britain's men celebrate winning the bronze medal in the team event

In form: Louis Smith shone on the pommel horse in the final

All eyes on the floor: The North Greenwich Arena was the venue for the gymnastics final

All eyes on the floor: The North Greenwich Arena was the venue for the gymnastics final

On top of the world: Chen Yibing helped China to the gold medal in the team final

On top of the world: Chen Yibing helped China to the gold medal in the team final

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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LIVE RESULTS |
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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.