Gymnastics: Great Britain's men's team insist more medal success is possible after London 2012 bronze


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The Independent Online

The men's gymnastics team still have work to do following their bronze medal success and say they could win more.

As the team of five showed off their medals to delighted supporters, they insisted more success could follow on from Britain's first Olympic team medal in a century.

Louis Smith, Max Whitlock, Daniel Purvis, Sam Oldham and Kristian Thomas earned their place in the history books after a breath-taking performance at the North Greenwich Arena yesterday when Britain scored a total of 271.711 to take the bronze medal having originally been awarded silver before a Japanese appeal.

An inquiry into the score of world all-around champion Kohei Uchimura's pommel horse routine saw Japan claim silver and Britain downgraded to bronze, with China retaining their gold medal.

However, the result exceeded all the expectations of the British team, who qualified for the final in third place but believed the gymnastics powerhouses of the United States and Russia would keep them off the podium.

Whitlock said: "To be honest, a bronze medal or a silver medal, it doesn't really matter to us. We went into the competition with no expectation of a medal, so to come away with bronze in our home Olympics is just unbelievable."

But the new heroes of British sport will not have time to enjoy their success just yet. Whitlock and Smith, who won bronze on the pommel horse in Beijing four years ago, have again qualified for the pommel final on Sunday. Thomas and Purvis compete in the individual all-around tomorrow, while Thomas is also in Monday's vault final.

Smith said: "We have to come down off Cloud Nine and really focus on things. You can’t rest on your laurels. You’ve really got to put in a performance. We’ve trained a long time for this and we really want to go out there again and show what we can do.

"I don’t want to jinx anything but I threw my podium bouquet away into the crowd yesterday. Now I hope I can win some more."

Oldham credited Smith's Beijing bronze as the inspiration behind a result that has thrilled a nation.

He said: "Since Louis's performance we've been able to get really good funding and that is what has made British gymnastics what it is today. That has been the key stepping stone to success."