Kristian Thomas insists Britain’s historic fourth-place finish in the team final at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning is just the start of things to come.
Thomas, Max Whitlock, Dan Keatings, Dan Purvis, Nile Wilson and Courtney Tulloch all contributed as Britain qualified for the team final in fourth.
And for a long time in China they were among the medals, opening up the possibility of a first ever team final medal at World Championship level.
But as it was, their final total of 269.170 saw them narrowly miss out on the podium, with USA taking bronze with a score of 270.369 with hosts China edging out Japan for gold.
It was however a highest ever finish for Great Britain at the World Championships and captain Thomas, a member of the team which claimed Olympic bronze at London 2012, remained proud of their efforts.
“We put in everything and just came up a little bit short of the medals, it’s disappointing but that just shows how high our aims are,” he said.
“We know that this is just the first step though, we have an incredible team with a great mix of experience and the young guys who have been exceptional, and it is a great base to work from on our road to the Rio Olympics.”
Three of the six-strong team competed on each of the six apparatus with every score counting to the final total and after the pommel horse, rings, and vault, Great Britain were in the silver medal position thanks to clean performances all around.
Solid routines in both the parallel bars and high bars kept the team in the hunt before the final floor round with Thomas scoring 15.233, Purvis following suit with 15.100 and Whitlock receiving 15.400 points from the judges.
But with USA also finishing strongly, Great Britain were narrowly edged out, although double Olympic bronze medallist Whitlock – he also won pommel bronze at London 2012 – insisted the whole team had put their hand up when it mattered.
He said: “It was great, as a team we were so well prepared and so focussed and everyone did their job out there, we can be very proud as a team of what we’ve achieved. Again we have shown just how good Great Britain are at gymnastics.”
© Sportsbeat 2014