Gymnastics: Smith's bronze offers Britain consolation as Tweddle hits buffers

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The Independent Online

Beth Tweddle fell just short of earning tangible reward for Britain at the World Championships, which concluded in Stuttgart yesterday. But while last year's assymetric bars gold medallist missed a medal, her 18-year-old team-mate Louis Smith became only the second Briton to reach the podium at this competition in finishing third on the pommel horse.

The young man from Huntingdon excelled after being drawn as the last of the eight finalists to perform, and was only narrowly beaten to the silver medal by Krisztian Berki of Hungary. The event was won for the third time in succession by Xiao Qin, one of a number of impressive Chinese competitors targeting Olympic success on home soil next year.

Tweddle finished four places short of a medal in the floor exercises yesterday less than 24 hours after placing fourth in defence of the assymetric bars title she won in Denmark last October. The 22-year-old from Bunbury was kept off the podium on Saturday as gold went to Russia's 14-year-old prodigy Ksenia Semenova. Tweddle was narrowly beaten to the bronze – 16.150 points to 16.125 – by China's Yang Yilin.

The floor title went to all-around champion Shawn Johnson as the United States collected four of the six women's gold medals.

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