Great Britain's men battle to European team silver

24 May 2014 / 16:17

Great Britain had to settle for silver in defence of their men’s team title after Russia took gold in the gymnastics European Championships in Sofia.

The experienced quintet of Max Whitlock, Dan Keatings, Dan Purvis, Sam Oldham and Kristian Thomas had qualified for the final as the leading team with a score of 267.076 points.

But with three members competing on each apparatus and scores counting from each, Great Britain saw a few early landing errors on the rings and vault leave them in fourth after two rotations of Saturday's final.

Strong performances on the parallel bars and high bar, including a score of 15.200 from Keatings on the former, lifted the team up to bronze medal position before Whitlock’s floor routine score of 15.700 helped the team into second with one rotation left.

He would again lead by example on the pommel horse with a score of 16.200 as the team finished with an overall score of 265.953, two points behind Russia on 267.959.

Bronze went to Ukraine as Great Britain matched the result achieved by their female compatriots last week, with Thomas  quick to salute his side’s battling qualities.

“We left our selves a bit too much to do with a few early mistakes but the character we showed was fantastic, we are a very tight group and we all worked hard for each other and are really happy to have fought so hard and won the silver,”  he said.

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