Tweddle dazzles as GB reach final

29 July 2012 / 17:22

Beth Tweddle produced a breathtaking uneven bars routine and took a huge step towards claiming what would her first Olympic medal as Great Britain's women gymnasts powered into the team final.

The three-time world champion set the North Greenwich Arena alight with a world class performance, brimming with style and complexity to score a huge 16.133 - putting her in top qualifying place after the third of five sessions.

Britain also secured their place in Tuesday's team final, replicating the efforts of the men's team on Saturday, with a score of 170.656.

Tweddle's routine had a 7.0 difficulty score and a huge 9.133 execution score - the largest of the day by some distance.

"I was unbelievably nervous," Tweddle said after qualification. "I've felt sick for the last three weeks. My coach said to me: 'Just do what you do in training' and I just thought to myself: 'This is the one moment, and I just have to live for it.'

"I spoke with Louis [Smith, who qualified for the pommel horse final] yesterday and asked him how he felt and he said: 'It was great but I was so nervous' and I just thought I'm in the same position as him. I can remember every moment of that routine and normally I can't."

Tweddle's final tilt at an Olympic medal - the only thing missing from her impressive collection - looked like a dream that had slipped away three months ago after she underwent keyhole surgery on her left knee.

However, the 27-year-old never gave up, and after months of rehabilitation and continuing to sleep with an ice machine strapped to her leg to minimise the threat of further problems, she will now compete in the final on August 6.

"Twelve weeks ago my world came crashing down around me and I thought that was it," Tweddle said.

"I didn't even think I would be able to walk into the arena. Now that I'm here, I'm relieved and pleased to be here, but I want more. I wouldn't have walked out of that arena happy if I hadn't made the bar final."