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Smith wins historic bronze for GB
17 Aug 2008 13:59 BST

Louis Smith won bronze in the men's pommel horse event to hand Great Britain their first Olympics gymnastics medal in 80 years.

China's Qin Xiao won with a score of 15.875 while Filip Ude of Croatia was level with Smith on 15.725.

Smith, 19, from Peterborough, was in second after an assured performance.

However, Ude followed him and claimed second on the tiebreaker as he had fewer deductions on count-back for artistic merit.

"I was emotional, scared and nervous. It was absolutely unbelievable," said Smith, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist for England in 2006 and world bronze medallist last year.

"I thought it would feel like competing in a Commonwealth Games or World Championship, but it was a completely different level.

"I hope this medal is a stepping stone for British gymnastics. I hope it will inspire youngsters to come into our sport."

Walter Tysal won Britain's only previous individual men's gymnastics medal when he took silver in the all-around competition in 1908.

In 1928, in Amsterdam, the British women won team bronze.

Xiao, the three-time world champion, led throughout to claim China's fifth gymnastics gold of the Games.

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