GYMNASTICS: Louis misses out on the medals after his Swiss roll

Louis Smith finished fourth.
Louis Smith finished fourth.

Louis Smith failed in his bid to retain his pommel horse title at the European Championships in Switzerland yesterday (May 29).

Je finished just out of the medals in the final in Berne after a costly error.

The Huntingdon gymnast, who posted the highest score in qualification of 15.833 last Thursday, was going well only to lose his hand placement midway through his routine.

He slipped and rolled backwards off the apparatus, but he dusted himself down and got back on to finish strongly.

With a high difficulty routine, Smith was still able to score 14.733, but it was only enough for fourth in a competition where five of the eight gymnasts came off.

Armenia’s Harutyun Merdinyan took gold with a total of 15.366, while David Belyavsky of Russia won silver with 15.233 and Swiss gymnast Christian Baumann bronze with 14.900.

But Smith did not come away from the competition empty-handed as he had already bagged silver in the men’s team final on Saturday with Great Britain as they finished behind Russia with Switzerland third.

Nile Wilson meanwhile became the first British gymnast to win gold on the high bar at the European Championships, edging team-mate Kristian Thomas into silver.

Top qualifier Thomas held the lead all the way until Wilson outscored him by three tenths to take the title.

“That feeling is just incredible. You train your whole life for moments like that standing on the top of podium singing the national anthem with a gold medal,” the 20-year-old from Leeds said.

“To be standing there with our team captain Kristian, someone who has helped me so much and is such a great role model, makes it even more special.”