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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 18:45 UK

World Gymnastics 2010: GB men seventh in team final

China's men's gymnastics team

China snatch gold in high bar showdown

World Gymnastics, 16-24 October: Daily reports and video, live on BBC TV, red button and online from Wednesday Gymnastics on the BBC

By Ollie Williams

Britain's male gymnasts came seventh in Rotterdam in their first World Gymnastics team final appearance.

Faltering performances on the rings and floor held them back but reaching their first world final suggests GB are improving ahead of London 2012.

Louis Smith impressed with a score of 15.800 on the pommel horse as Britain scored 261.103 points, finishing above South Korea in the eight-team contest.

Olympic champions China beat Japan to gold with a score of 274.997.

China, Japan (273.769) and bronze medallists Germany (271.252) operated in a different league to their five rivals throughout the final, finishing well clear of the remaining nations.

European champions Germany, led by a tremendous high bar performance from Fabian Hambuechen, and Japan looked to be threatening China at one stage, but China's exceptional score on the rings proved the difference.

We're constantly improving, it's like climbing Mount Everest

Louis Smith

Britain's men not only reached the team final for the first time earlier in the week, but qualified in fourth place at Rotterdam's Ahoy Arena, ahead of Germany and Russia.

Though they were unable to reproduce Monday's near-faultless qualifying routines in the less forgiving format of Thursday's final - where only three gymnasts compete on each piece, and all scores must count - this result remains an unprecedented achievement.

By comparison, at the last World Championships to include a team event - held three years ago in Stuttgart - Britain's men finished 15th.

"We had a few errors but the fact we qualified in fourth for the team final means we've shown the world how good we are," said Olympic bronze medallist Smith.

"GB are definitely on the rise, we're constantly improving. It's like climbing Mount Everest. The grit and determination we've had in training is starting to pay off.

"It's nice to show these countries what's happening back home, how hard we've been grafting in the gym, and by the time London comes around we should be up there."

Britain began on the pommel where Dan Purvis made a nervy start, but Smith executed a difficult routine almost perfectly to score 15.800.

Moving to the rings, traditionally Britain's weakest apparatus, both Kristian Thomas and Ruslan Panteleymonov produced clean but low-scoring routines to score 14.333 apiece, while Theo Seager slightly lost his momentum and scored 13.266.

Purvis, Panteleymonov and Seager all delivered vaults around the 16-point mark, but Sam Hunter's score dipped to 13.566 on the parallel bars.

Thomas, Purvis and Hunter all scored in the low 14s on the high bar before Purvis racked up a score of 14.850 on the floor to round off Britain's performance.

"It's a really good finish and the first time we've ever qualified a team, so to get anywhere was a bonus," said Liverpudlian Purvis.

"There was an outside chance of a medal but we had a few little mistakes today. We could have done better but it was all pretty positive."

The US finished in fourth place (268.012 points) with an improved French team fifth (263.468) and Russia sixth (263.170).

Purvis, 19, and 22-year-old Hunter return to action in Friday's men's all-around final, in which gymnasts compete across all six pieces of apparatus.

Smith, 21, has a place in Saturday's pommel horse final and Purvis goes again in the final of the floor on the same day.

Earlier on Thursday, British Gymnastics confirmed it is bidding to stage artistic gymnastics' 2015 World Championships in Glasgow.

"We are delighted to be backing the bid," said a spokesperson for UK Sport.

"It will, if successful, provide a fantastic opportunity for British athletes to compete at home during the crucial qualification period for the 2016 Olympic Games."

Louis Smith's guide to the pommel horse

Louis Smith's guide to the pommel horse

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see also
GB's women seventh in team final
20 Oct 10 |  Gymnastics
GB men fourth in World qualifying
19 Oct 10 |  Gymnastics
GB through to Worlds team final
17 Oct 10 |  Gymnastics
Keatings on track for 2011 return
28 Sep 10 |  Gymnastics
Smith sticks with costly routine
17 Sep 10 |  Gymnastics
Gymnastics results
23 Aug 05 |  Gymnastics
Gymnastics on the BBC
05 Oct 11 |  Gymnastics
Get involved in gymnastics
23 Sep 10 |  Gymnastics

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