Relive the Games - a weekly look back at some of London 2012's most iconic momentsSubscribe
Grace Cullen 31 October 2012
Drama and delight as GB win first team gymnastics medal for a century
Heading for the final apparatus rotation in the team final, GB’s men sat in fourth place overall behind reigning champions China, reigning silver medallists Japan, and Ukraine.
For the team of Kristian Thomas, Louis Smith, Dan Purvis, Sam Oldham and Max Whitlock, reaching the final was a fine achievement, having only qualified for the Games at the second time of asking, yet here they sat, poised to challenge for the first British medal for a men’s team in a century.
Some outstanding individual performances, in particular from Louis Smith on the pommel horse and Kristian Thomas on the vault, had left the team within touching distance of the silverware and all that remained was the floor.
Three of the team performed: Max Whitlock, Dan Purvis and Kristian Thomas, holding their nerve under some of the most intense competitive pressure they are ever likely to experience.
To the sheer delight of the team, their support staff and the home crowd, the performances were sublime and Great Britain was guaranteed the bronze medal.
On the other side of the Arena an unexpected mistake by Japan on the pommel horse promoted Britain into second place. However, GB’s celebrations were to be short lived, as Japan launched an ultimately successful protest, pushing Britain back down into the bronze medal position.
Yet nothing could dampen spirits at the North Greenwich Arena on this historic day. Watched over by Princes William and Harry, the team had each delivered when it mattered, winning a medal in the most dramatic of circumstances and providing one of the moments of the Games that will be remembered for years to come.