Great Britain's men make solid start in Olympic gymnastics


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The Independent Online

Great Britain's men kicked off their Olympic gymnastics programme at the North Greenwich Arena today on the first day of competition.

Daniel Purvis and Kristian Thomas are the only two in the team to compete in the all-around competition - performing on all six pieces of apparatus - with hot medal prospect Louis Smith lining up on the pommel horse and horizontal bars.

Max Whitlock and Sam Oldham complete the British quintet, each competing on five pieces in front of their home crowd, as they all bid to secure their place in team and individual finals.

Britain started on the still rings, Purvis top-scoring for the team with a stylish routine of 15.033, with solid performances from Oldham, Thomas and Whitlock.

They then moved to the vault, a traditionally high-scoring piece of apparatus, with Thomas putting in two superb vaults to score an average of 15.983, leaving Britain second, narrowly behind reigning team gold Olympic champions China at the early stage.

With four gymnasts able to compete on each apparatus for the team with three scores to count, Whitlock's slightly wobbly parallel bars routine was ruled out, with Purvis moving third in the all-around competition with a score of 14.733 for his routine.