Britain’s gymnasts have once again made history as the men’s team of Max Whitlock, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan and Daniel Purvis took silver at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow – Britain’s greatest ever artistic gymnastics World Championships team result.
The GB men, who have never taken a world team medal, finished with 270.345 – just 0.473 behind the newly crowned champions Japan (270.818) and 0.386 ahead of former world champions China (269.959).
The atmosphere was unbelievable and I think the team pulled together brilliantly and we got exactly what we wanted.Max Whitlock
The silver medal was sealed with the last performances of the championships as the Hydro Arena awaited the placings; finally the scoreboard revealing the result that confirmed Great Britain’s standing amongst the best gymnastic teams in the world.
Hemel Hempstead star Max led the team, competing on all apparatus, and summed up the achievements by saying: “To be honest there was pressure but the amount of support that goes with that was unbelievable.
“The crowd were absolutely crazy today and I think that has helped us get these silver medals that are round our necks now.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable and I think the team pulled together brilliantly and we got exactly what we wanted.”
The British men’s competition got off to a great start with Smith performing a difficult pommel routine under the pressure of opening the campaign, scoring 15.333. Bevan was up next, before Max produced an outstanding routine for Britain’s top score of 15.700.
GB then moved to rings where Max was again in good form scoring 14.400, before Purvis scored 14.333 and Wilson registered an impressive 14.933.
Bevan on vault showed no nerves in his first World Championships, his double pike Tsukahara scoring 15.133. Max triple twisted to 15.033 and Thomas followed with a double piked Yurchenko vault with 15.333. After three rotations this placed GB third in at the halfway mark.
Max lead the way once more on parallel bars with a 15.033; Wilson had some difficulty but battled well for a score of 15.033, and Purvis then produced a superb 15.466 to regain the momentum and keep the team in third heading to high bar as the pressure intensified.
Max again was the man to calm the nerves, executing an impressive routine with a near-perfect landing for 15.000 points. Thomas’s routine was packed with difficult release moves for another 15.000 for GB, before Wilson rose to the challenge and had his team-mates erupting after his clean routine scored him 14.833.
Heading into the final apparatus, GB needed to score in the mid 14s to overtake Russia and solid scores above 15 to overtake gymnastic greats and the reigning world champions China.
Thomas led off with a strong routine for 14.600 to keep GB in contention. Up next, Purvis proved his consistency at high level competition and completed an outstanding routine for a high 15.400.
Then came the question, could Max score in the mid to high 15s to overtake China? The answer was yes; Max stuck cold nearly every landing to score 15.766 and clinch the silver medal.
Wilson said: “That Olympic medal has spurred us all on made us all believe that we are one of the best countries in the world at gymnastics.
“To be a part of this team was incredible. We were all relentless out there and hit every routine and you can’t ask for more than that.”