OLYMPICS: Silver lining for Louis Smith

Great Britain's medallists Max Whitlock (left, gold) and Louis Smith (right, silver) following the men's pommel horse final.

Great Britain's medallists Max Whitlock (left, gold) and Louis Smith (right, silver) following the men's pommel horse final.

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Louis Smith had to settle for the silver medal in a thrilling pommel horse final in Rio tonight (August 14) finishing second best to the new Team GB golden boy Max Whitlock.

Smith, the 27 year-old from Eye, put in a great performance but, just as in last year’s World Championships, it was Whitlock who saved the best until last.

Louis Smith in action in the pommel horse final.

Louis Smith in action in the pommel horse final.

Smith was fifth to go and scored an impressive 15.833 to take the lead. But then Whitlock, who was last but one to perform, smashed it with a score of 15.966.

For Whitlock (23) it was his second Olympic gold medal of the day having won on the floor earlier in the evening.

It took him less than two hours to achieve twice what no British gymnast had previously managed in 120 years.

The Team GB pair embraced before being led out for their medal ceremony on an historic day for the domestic sport.

Louis Smith is close to tears after being pipped to gold.

Louis Smith is close to tears after being pipped to gold.

It was the fourth Olympic medal of Smith’s career while Whitlock’s historic golden double takes his own career Games tally to five.

Whitlock’s feat was all the more remarkable for the fact he had to recover from a bout of glandular fever shortly after becoming Britain’s first male individual world champion in Glasgow last year.