Tweddle gold leads British medal haul

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The Independent Online

Beth Tweddle claimed her third world title with gold on the uneven bars on a stunning Saturday for British gymnastics at the World Championships in Rotterdam. The 25-year-old, the champion on the floor last year, regained the title she first won in 2006 with a near-flawless routine on her signature piece of equipment while her main rivals faltered.

The day had begun with teenager Dan Purvis winning his first World Championship medal by taking bronze on the floor. It crowned a superb week for the 19-year-old, who yesterday finished fifth in the all-around final.

Britain's set of medals was completed by Beijing bronze medallist Louis Smith, who collected silver on the pommel horse. The 21-year-old was looking to put behind him memories of last year, when he fell off the equipment, and he achieved that aim in style.

Tweddle was thrilled with her win, a result she believes is down to long, hard hours in training.

"It means everything to me to regain the bars title," she said. "I have worked so hard day in, day out in the gym for this so I'm very proud. I wasn't watching the previous routines but from the noise of the crowd I could tell the two Chinese girls ahead of me had fallen.

"I tried to remain calm but I knew at that point that if I went clean I had a great chance of winning the title."

Smith was also delighted with his second-placed finish following disappointment in last year's competition.

"This medal really rounds off a fantastic competition for Britain," he said. "For me, I've hit every routine clean, having put a lot of pressure on myself after falling last year and I'm very proud I made no mistakes and proved myself once again."

Purvis added: "It's a dream come true to win a World medal. I was watching the scores and knew it would be tough to be up there but I managed to hold my nerve."