Sam Oldham secured the high bar silver medal on the final day of the 2013 European Championships in Moscow to complete a memorable medal-filled weekend for Great Britain. In the final event of the competition Sam executed a superb, highly difficult routine scoring 15.133 to win Britain’s first ever medal in a major championships on the high bar.
The championships close with Great Britain having claimed five medals. Max Whitlock was the star of the team taking the all-around silver, floor gold and pommel bronze medals, Daniel Keatings reclaimed his pommel horse gold from 2010 beating the Olympic champion, and Sam took the high bar silver.
Sam Oldham: “It’s amazing it really is, it’s been coming a long time, I was 4th in this event a few years ago and have been waiting to come back and prove myself. The first high bar medal for Britain, it’s amazing. I’ve been working high bar for a long time and I really am so happy to have this silver medal round my neck, I knew on landing that I’d done a good routine and I would be close but it’s not till you see your name on the scoreboard that you believe it, it’s brilliant.”
In the high bar final - the grand finale to the championships - Ashley Watson was up first for Great Britain in his senior major debut. He began well with some lovely one-armed work, successfully complete his first release and catch but unfortunately couldn’t hold on to his second big skill and fell, he jumped up and completed his routine to score 12.833 good enough for 8th place.
Sam Oldham was the penultimate gymnast up in a competition that had seen several falls. The Olympic team bronze medallist took the pressure well and went straight into three big release and catch moves, full of difficulty and risk factor but performed beautifully, he dismounted with only the smallest hop forward and a moment pause where he knew he had produced a great routine for the silver medal .300 behind Garibov of Russia.
Britain’s Ruby Harrold admitted beforehand that she was surprised to make the beam final and looked to approach with a positive attitude. Having scored a personal best in qualifying she went even better in the final, first up in the competition she looked very solid, only tiny wobbles and a good dismount to complete a beautiful routine and score her 13.633 place 6th and complete a great championships for the 16-year-old in which she made all-around, bars and beam finals