What a final! Yet again, in front of a very noisy and packed O2 arena, my sport has produced another very exciting final with so many twists and turns that even I was having trouble predicting the eventual winners until the final rotation.
Obviously the majority of the support was for our very own Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis, but there was also very healthy support for the USA, Germany and Japan – to name but a few – who really did try to out shout the patriotic home crowd, it was so exciting…
In the first rotation Kris and Dan got off to a flying start with Kristian setting the pace in the very first routine of the evening by posting a huge score of 15.566 on the Floor. The GB men continued their excellent form over the next two rotations, and the home crowd were going absolutely nuts as they both executed their routines and proved they were in contention for the medals. As always in most gymnastics competitions, it is the fourth rotation that proves to be the most difficult as the leader board starts to take shape and the adrenalin, nerves and pressure starts to build.
Kris was next up on Vault with one of the most difficult vaults of the competition, but unfortunately on this occasion, Kris slightly over rotated his landing and stumbled backwards scoring 14.908. Dan, unfortunately, also suffered the same fate in the fourth rotation but on P Bars, when he was slightly off balance in one of his handstands, which forced him to part with the apparatus scoring 13.600.
The same fate was also suffered by several other nations, but after the fourth rotation the leader board was showing a possible Japan 1 and 2 with the current World Champion Kohei Uchimura leading and Ukraine holding on to the third spot.
The GB men returned to great form in the final two rotations as the pressure and nerves started to their toll on the leader board, including the two outstanding Japanese gymnasts who both had to carry falls on their final apparatus. The leader board had changed so many times over the last two rotations, but the fall on Pommel by Kazuhito Tanaka proved to be the most costly and he started to slip down the rankings and out of the medals as the other gymnasts completed their final routines. Ultimately the day was always going to go in favour of the current World Champion Kohei Uchimura as he set such a high standard on all apparatus that even a fall on his final routine was not enough to take him off the top of the leader board and saw him claim his first Olympic All Around title after finishing second in Beijing.
The final standings were:
1. Kohei Uchimura – Japan
2. Marcel Nguyen – Germany
3. Danell Leyva – USA
The GB men of Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis again wrote a new chapter in our history book by recording the highest All Around finish in 100 years with Kris placed 7th and Dan placed 13th.
A special mention has to also go to Marcel Nguyen and Danell Leyva who never gave up the fight and put in an awesome display to pick up their first ever Olympic medals.
At the end of the day, the real winner is my sport, as GYMNASTICS yet again raised the roof at the O2 arena and has proved to be very exciting!!!!!!!!!