Eye gymnast Louis Smith helped Great Britain’s men claim a first ever team medal at the World Championships in Glasgow as they swooped silver last night (October 28).
The team, consisting of Smith, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas, Nile Wilson, Brinn Bevan and Daniel Purvis, registered a score of 270.345, just 0.473 behind the newly crowned champions Japan and 0.386 ahead of former world champions China.
Smith, the 26-year-old Olympic pommel horse silver medallist, got the team off to a flying start with an excellent 15.333 in his specialist event.
Smith said: “I’m feeling overwhelmed and the guys were unbelievable. Everyone pulled together and worked so hard. Everyone did their job.”
Smith can now add an individual medal to his collection when competing in the pommel horse final at the weekend. He collected the highest score on that piece of apparatus in qualifying earlier this week.
Smith admitted afterwards he never thought he would see the day that Great Britain would beat China in a team event
He added: “We are the underdogs and to beat China to silver is incredible. I never would have thought we would be in a position as a team where we would be beating China.
“We did our job and we are capable of great things.
“This sport is very unpredictable and when push comes to shove a lot of the time it’s down to who holds their nerve and there’s no other way to say it – we did the job.
“We did 18 clean routines and you just can’t argue with that at the end of the day.”
And Smith tipped his cap to Whitlock, whose last-gasp 15.766 on the floor made the difference as they ended just under half a point off gold.
He said: “It’s a buzz. We were paying attention but we weren’t really paying attention to what everyone else was doing.
“We saw scores but we didn’t really see performances so we went into the end of it blind and just tried to get our routines clean.
“One by one the scores came in and we started to hope and then you realise how much of a pressure situation it was for Max to do his routine clean.
“We just kept talking and saying let’s try and get 18 clean routines and we were trying to focus on that as much as possible and that’s what we did.”