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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 09:54 GMT
Gymnastics glory for England team
By Matt Majendie
BBC Sport in Melbourne

Imogen Cairns
Cairns salutes the crowd after receiving her gold medal
Teenagers Louis Smith and Imogen Cairns both won gymnastics gold for England with superb performances in Melbourne.

Smith won the men's pommel horse with a score of 15.775 while Cairns scored a combined total of 14.325 in two vaults.

England's Shavahn Church followed up by winning silver in the uneven bars with a score of 14.875 points.

Meanwhile Scotland's Steve Frew failed to defend his gold in the men's rings when he fell on his dismount and finished last of the eight entrants.

Frew, in his fifth Commonwealth Games, said he would now take time out to consider his future.

"I'm not joking, I've been involved in competition for nearly 30 years now and it really starts to take its toll on your body," he told BBC Sport.

Cairns beat Canada's Alyssa Brown into second and then revealed that her first vault was a new discipline for her.

"It was only the second time I had done it in competition and I've only worked on it for a month - it normally takes six to learn," she told BBC Sport.

"This is fantastic after missing out on a medal on Saturday. This of course is a much better feeling.

I didn't come here at all expecting a gold medal, I came here to do my best. Wow!
Louis Smith

"I was really nervous. I wasn't expecting to win but I wanted to do my best and believed I could pull it off."

Australia's Naomi Russell took bronze behind Brown and Cairns, leaving Wales' Jessica Gazzi in fourth.

Cairns had been the favourite for gold having reached the world finals.

Smith, who beat Australian favourite Prashanth Sellathurai into second with a score of 15.660, was overwhelmed after his victory.

He told BBC Sport: "It was amazing, I'm totally lost for words. I can't really explain what I've done.

"I didn't really pay much attention to Imogen winning the gold in the competition before me, I just got on with the job at hand.

Shavahn Church
Church is a British-American based in California

"I knew the Australians and Canadians would be a threat as they are always dangerous. I didn't come here at all expecting a gold medal, I came here to do my best. Wow!"

Church, another 16-year-old, admitted to being frustrated at missing out on gold after finishing behind Canada's Elise Hopsner-Hibbs who took gold with 15.10. Australia's Monette Russo won bronze.

"It was a little bit nervewracking having watched the two earlier golds and I thought I don't want to mess this up," Church told BBC Sport.

"There was a moment where I thought I may have got the gold but when Elisa's score came up I was a little bit disappointed in myself because I know I could have done better.

"But I've exceeded my expectations and what I've done for me is huge although the team medal stands out more than the individual one as I love doing stuff for the team - that's what drives me."

Links to more Commonwealth Games stories


Cairns denied in bronze medal bid
18 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
England secure gymnastics silver
17 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games


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