Search

enhanced by Google

latest music news

Gymnasts end century wait for medal

Britain's men's gymnasts have rewritten the history books by clinching a dramatic Olympic bronze - 100 years after a GB team last won a medal in the event.

The exploits of Louis Smith, Sam Oldham, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Daniel Purvis sent the spirits of British fans soaring hours after divers Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield missed out on a podium place.

Another highlight of day three of the Games came at the Aquatic Centre hours after the diving when 15-year-old Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, who lives and trains in Plymouth, won a spectacular gold medal in the women's 100 metres breaststroke.

An emotional Meilutyte, who attends the same school as Daley, was left almost lost for words at the end of the race as she tried to absorb what she had done.

The achievement in the gymnastics was tinged with an element of disappointment, as the team was initially placed in silver medal position behind winners China.

A successful challenge by the fourth-placed Japanese over marks they had received saw Team GB drop down to bronze after an agonising wait inside the North Greenwich Arena in south east London.

After so many barren years for British gymnastics, regret at losing out on silver will not overshadow the accomplishment.

Whitlock admitted the colour of the medal did not matter.

"We came into this competition not expecting anything, not putting any pressure on ourselves and came out here to enjoy it," the 19-year-old said.

"We've done this, which is amazing. A bronze or silver medal doesn't matter."

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry led the support as Britain won their first Olympic gymnastics team medal since the bronze at the Stockholm Games in 1912.

Earlier, divers Daley and Waterfield came fourth in the synchronised 10m platform final, leaving crowds in the Aquatic Centre downhearted. Prime Minister David Cameron was among those in the packed venue cheering on the Team GB pair.

The crowd in the centre for the evening session had much more to shout about after Meilutyte's amazing victory.

The schoolgirl led from start to finish as she held off Rebecca Soni from the US, the Beijing silver medallist.

"I cannot believe it," Meilutyte told the BBC afterwards. "It's too much for me."

Looking at the camera and speaking in Lithuanian, she told her father in Plymouth: "Thank you. I love you."

The day drew to a close with more Team GB medals within reach.

They include Katherine Grainger and her double sculls partner Anna Watkins, who are on course to pick up a rowing medal.

The pair smashed a 20-year-old Olympic record by nearly five seconds to win their heat and reach Friday's final.

Britain's equestrians, including Zara Phillips - watched today by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, her cousins Beatrice and Eugenie and the Duchess of Cornwall - also strengthened their gold medal bid.

But home supporters hoping for further swimming success tonight from world record holder Gemma Spofforth and Liam Tancock in the 100m backstroke finals were left disappointed, after both missed out on a medal.

As organiser Locog continued to try to resolve the row over empty seats, it said 3,000 tickets from international sports federations had been resold to the public.

Director of communications Jackie Brock-Doyle said tickets will be re-sold for seats in accredited areas on a day-by-day basis to make sure they are filled.

"We were able to put back into the pot for sale around 3,000 tickets last night. They have all been sold," she said.

"We're going to do that on a day-to-day basis. Where we can, we are going to release those the night before and put them up for sale."

Where security or operational issues mean tickets cannot be re-sold to the public, they are being given to troops, or to students and teachers as part of a pre-arranged contingency plan.

"We really are doing the best we can, but it's not an exact science," she added.

Before his final, 18-year-old Daley tweeted: "After the toughest year of my life, today is the day!"

But after he and Waterfield came fourth behind China, Mexico and the US, he said it just "wasn't meant to be".

"The last two dives were brilliant but it's just not enough on the day," Daley said.

"It started off really well. We got a PB (personal best) in the first two. The third dive was really good.

"It was just our fourth dive. If you miss one dive like that, you're gone. It is the way sport goes. It's annoying but what can you do?

"It is tough to see other people going and standing on the podium where you wanted to be but that's sport for you and that's going to give us more motivation and more drive towards the individual event."

Afterwards, four-time Olympian Waterfield admitted he apologised to his team-mate for drawing low marks for their failed dive.

Daley will now have to wait until the individual platform on the penultimate day of the Games to claim an Olympic medal.

After the final, he tweeted: "#gutted so sorry everyone but we tried our best and you can't afford to miss a dive at this standard... bring on individual."

As organiser Locog continued to try to solve the row over empty seats, it said 3,000 tickets from international sports federations were resold to the public overnight.

Director of communications Jackie Brock-Doyle said tickets will be re-sold for seats in accredited areas on a day-by-day basis to make sure they are filled.

"We were able to put back into the pot for sale around 3,000 tickets last night. They have all been sold," she said.

"We're going to do that on a day-to-day basis. Where we can, we are going to release those the night before and put them up for sale."

Where security or operational issues mean tickets cannot be re-sold to the public, they are being given to troops, or to students and teachers as part of a pre-arranged contingency plan.

"We really are doing the best we can, but it's not an exact science," she added.

Payment issues at Wembley stadium that left fans queuing for food were also said to have been resolved, and organisers confirmed that locks at the site have been changed after a set of internal keys was lost.

Before his final, 18-year-old Tom Daley tweeted: "After the toughest year of my life, today is the day!"

But after he and Waterfield came fourth behind China, Mexico and the US, he said it just "wasn't meant to be".

"The last two dives were brilliant but it's just not enough on the day," Daley said.

"It started off really well. We got a PB in the first two. The third dive was really good.

"It was just our fourth dive. If you miss one dive like that, you're gone. It is the way sport goes. It's annoying but what can you do?

"It is tough to see other people going and standing on the podium where you wanted to be but that's sport for you and that's going to give us more motivation and more drive towards the individual event."

Afterwards, four-time Olympian Waterfield admitted he apologised to his team-mate for drawing low marks for their failed dive.

Daley will now have to wait until the individual platform on the penultimate day of the Games to claim an Olympic medal.

After the final, he tweeted: "#gutted so sorry everyone but we tried our best and you can't afford to miss a dive at this standard... bring on individual."

Mr Cameron, who was among the crowds to watch the British divers, branded Tory MP Aidan Burley's Twitter criticism of the Olympic opening ceremony "idiotic".

Mr Burley, who was forced to quit as a ministerial aide after attending a Nazi-themed stag do last year, described the 27 million show as "multicultural leftie crap".

Mr Cameron, who followed the diving by watching the handball with French president Francois Hollande, said: "I did once say something about people who use Twitter, particularly politicians, and I think in this case I was absolutely spot-on.

"I think what he said was completely wrong. It was an idiotic thing to say."

It also emerged that US athletes have begun a Twitter campaign against a rule that bans them from mentioning their personal sponsors.

The International Olympic Committee refused to budge over the ban - known as rule 40 - saying it is to protect money coming into the Olympic movement during the Games.

be the first to comment

Add your comment
Bookmark and Share
music videosAlt TextI Am Everyoneliveradiomobile downloads