The team all contributed superb routines to the total with Nile and Dan Purvis leading the way with quality all-around performances and stand out routines such as Louis Smiths pommel, Kristian’s vault and Courtney’s rings adding to the team total of 268.427 points (over a point above their qualifying score). Russia took the gold medal scoring 271.378 whilst host nation Switzerland (263.278 points) rose to the occasion to take surprise bronze much to the delight of the home crowd.
The British team were satisfied with their performances, Kristian Thomas commented: “It was a great competition with lots of positives for us all individually and as a team. The main focus at these championships is to use them to help us be at our best for Rio and I think we can all be happy that we have done that and of course it’s great to have a medal for our country.”
Louis Smith echoed his comments saying: “It’s incredible and means a lot to me personally to have won the silver medal with these guys. For us to have completed 18 clean routines in qualifying and the final shows we are on track. This is very much a build-up event to Rio and we all still have more to give which is a huge positive.”
Britain had qualified brilliantly through to the final in second spot narrowly behind Russia. The format of the final meant that of the five strong team, three gymnasts competed on each of the six apparatus with every score counting to the final total. With British champion and all-around World Championships silver medallist Max Whitlock absent the team knew they had to be at their best to claim a medal.
Nile Wilson (City of Leeds) began for Great Britain on floor in fine form and confidence for a score of 14.900 points, Kristian Thomas (Earls/Wolverhampton) the reigning floor champion showed his huge tumbling skills nailing his last landing for a superb 15.166 with Dan Purvis (Southport) finishing up with another tidy routine for 15.066; a great start for the team as each gymnast had bettered their qualifying scores. On pommel Dan again excelled upping his score from earlier in the week to 14.500, Nile followed with another clean routine for 14.100 then Louis Smith (Huntingdon) put in a trademark superb performance for a mighty 15.966 points for the team. Rings was next up, and again it was Dan Purvis to lead the team with vocal support from his teammates he exceled for an impressive 14.633 points. There were fist pumps from Nile Wilson on landing his rings dismount and scoring 15.100 with Courtney Tulloch (Pegasus/Kent) wowing the crowd with his immense strength, each posed position held exactly, and a perfect dismount for a brilliant score of 15.766.
At the halfway mark this left Britain trailing Russia, 135.197 points to 136.258 points with the Russian team looking in great form.
Niles opening vault scored a steady 14.633, Dan stuck his landing perfectly for 14.866 leaving vault supremo Kristian Thomas to finish up with a huge high vault again stuck brilliantly for a 15.400 score. Courtney was back up on parallel bars with a solid routine for 14.300 whilst Dan has to battle hard through his routine for 14.700. Nile was pumped up for his difficult routine and he showed true class performing a series of difficult elements with style for a hugely impressive score of 15.966. Finally the team headed to high bar, trailing Russia by just over 3 marks and ahead of hosts Switzerland by over 6 marks. Nile was outstanding once again clearly revelling on the big stage for 14.966 with Dan completing his clean all-around performance for 14.166 and last up Kristian soaking up the pressure using all his experience to score 14.233. The GB gymnasts could then only wait as Russia finished their competition.
The men’s championships close tomorrow (Sunday) with apparatus finals for juniors and seniors, live on the BBC red button and online 9.30-13.00 with highlights of other championships on BBC Two 15.30-18.00. The women’s European Championships begin Wednesday.
Find the full results here.