What a day for British Gymnastics at the Olympic Qualifications! After months of preparation it was time for the GB men to show the world how far we have advanced as a gymnastics nation since Louis Smith’s historic bronze medal in Beijing.
GB were up in the first session and put in an awesome display in front of a noisy home crowd to finish leading the team qualifications and ahead of the reigning Olympic team champions China. The whole team performed exceptionally but would still have to wait for another two sessions before knowing their fate, not only as a team but individually as well, especially with some strong teams still to come. By the end of the final session it was confirmed that the GB men didn’t just perform well, but they blew away the competition! With it went some of the gymnastics powerhouses including: China, Japan and Germany to finish third. Individually they also performed very well – Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis qualified for the All Around final, Louis Smith and Max Whitlock for the Pommel final, and Kristian Thomas for the Vault final.
My stand out performances of the day had to be Louis Smith and Kristian Thomas. Louis because he performed an exceptionally difficult Pommel routine to score 15.8 and top the qualifications for the Pommel final, all this while under immense pressure and expectation from the British public. Kristian Thomas proved yet again just how good and consistent an All Around gymnast he is – not only did he qualify in 5th for the All Around final but he has also became the first
British gymnast to beat the exceptionally talented Kohei Uchimura in an All Around competition. On top of this Kris also qualified in 5th for the Vault final and narrowly missed out on a High Bar final finishing 9th and a Floor final finishing 11th.
Now bring on the finals – c’mon GB!