Gymnastics: Thomas keeps his cool to win gold for GB
Sunday 27 May 2012
Great Britain's men came through a dramatic high-bar finale to win their first European Gymnastics team gold medal in Montpellier yesterday only after a strong Russian squad, hosts France and Germany all made costly errors.
A fall by Russia's Anton Golotsutskov on high bar let Britain slip into a lead which they held despite Max Whitlock falling from the same apparatus. Kristian Thomas held his nerve during a superb last routine on the high bar to win the gold.
Thomas has two further medal opportunities for Britain in today's individual finals, in the floor and vault with Ruslan Panteleymonov joining him on the vault and Dan Purvis also in the floor final.
Louis Smith and Whitlock are both in the pommel horse final, where Smith is expected to battle Hungary's Krisztian Berki for gold.
Britain's Heather Fell won the silver medal at the Modern Pentathlon World Cup final in Chengdu, China, after a superb performance in the closing run and shoot event. The result means Fell is likely to achieve the qualifying standard via the Olympic ranking list, leaving Pentathlon GB to decide between four eligible athletes – Mhairi Spence, Freyja Prentice and Samantha Murray had already achieved the mark – for the two women's places available.
Fell had previously conceded defeat in her Games bid, saying she was "gutted" to be out of the frame after finishing 15th at the World Championships, where Spence won gold and Murray took bronze. The team is due to be announced on 8 June and performance director Jan Bartu said: "It looks like we'll have four women on the qualifying list now and they have all done a great job to be there. We now need to keep the momentum going for the next two-and-a-half months."
Fell was 10th going into yesterday's last event but produced the third-fastest time – 11 minutes 55.37 seconds – to jump to second place. Her points total of 5,248 left her 64 behind the gold medallist, Lithuania's Laura Asadauskaite.
Jamie Cooke, Sam Weale and Nick Woodbridge are fighting for the two men's places on the GB team and will do battle in today's final in China.
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