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World Gymnastics 2010: Beth Tweddle regains bars title

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

Beth Tweddle

Tears and tumbles as Tweddle triumphs

By Ollie Williams in Rotterdam

Britain's Beth Tweddle recaptured her world uneven bars title as two Chinese gymnasts fell from the apparatus.

A stunning routine earned Tweddle, the 2006 world champion, a score of 15.733 points as China's He Kexin and Huang Qiushuang both fell in Rotterdam.

"I've said from the beginning it was theirs to lose and mine to gain. That's what happened," said Tweddle.

Louis Smith added a world silver medal to his Olympic bronze on pommel horse, while Dan Purvis won bronze on floor.

Smith, 21, successfully completed a difficult routine, identical to the one which caused him to fall at last year's World Championships, to finish one tenth of a point behind Hungary's Krisztian Berki.

Imogen Cairns came eighth in the vault final.

Everyone keeps telling me how old I am but the motivation is there, and the main motivation is London 2012

Beth Tweddle

Gold, silver and bronze medals from the first five individual event finals made Saturday one of the finest days in the history of British gymnastics on the world stage.

Though Tweddle may thank the misfortune of the Chinese duo for an opportunity she gladly seized, the strength and depth of the British gymnastics programme continues to build.

Perhaps more importantly, the programme also continues to show results - despite disappointment in the team finals earlier this week, where both the men and women finished seventh.

China's He and Huang were expected to form a near-insurmountable challenge for gold and silver between them in the women's uneven bars event, had they produced clean routines, but both fell to leave the door open for Tweddle.

When Russia's Aliya Mustafina failed to beat the Liverpudlian's score, only reaching 15.600, it was a matter of time before Tweddle was confirmed as the world champion in an event she first won four years ago.

"I didn't see what happened to the Chinese girls but I heard it," said the 25-year-old.

"After that, in my head I'm thinking, 'Don't get ahead of yourself,' but it's hard not to when you know you qualified third and the two above you have both fallen.

"But Amanda (Kirby, her coach) soon grounds you down and tells you to just do what you've done in training, so that's what I did."

OLLIE WILLIAMS' BLOG

Mustafina took second place, with America's Rebecca Bross third.

Tweddle, who finished fourth on the bars at the Beijing Games in 2008, said victory in the Netherlands moves her closer to her ambition of an Olympic medal in 2012.

"Everyone keeps telling me how old I am but the motivation is there, and the main motivation is London 2012," she said.

"After Beiing someone showed me an interview I'd done where I said I'd be far too old for 2012, but since then I've been getting the results - and why give up on something you're still enjoying?

"I've got every title to my name now apart from an Olympic one and I'd be happy with any Olympic medal, it doesn't have to be gold."

Hungary's Berki set the standard early in the pommel horse final, scoring 15.833 with an impeccable routine.

Smith had reached a score of 15.800 in the men's team final on Thursday, so knew the score was within reach.

But Britain's Olympic bronze medallist pulled up just short, scoring 15.733 to miss out.

"When I hit my routine and finished I was praying to be in first place, I've never been able to pip Berki," said Smith.

"But walking away with any medal at the World Championships, two years out from the Olympics, is a positive.

"Berki is so calm and placid, he's a lot older and more experienced than me, he's been here for ages.

"Hopefully I can take a leaf out of his book and settle my nerves a bit more."

Dan Purvis
Purvis won bronze in the floor event in Rotterdam

Liverpool's Purvis delivered the most composed of routines in the floor final to score 15.366 points, enough to place him third with one gymnast remaining - Israel's Alexander Shatilov.

When Shatilov came up just short, scoring 15.333, Purvis's injured team-mate Dan Keatings - silver medallist in the all-around event at last year's World Championships, in London - erupted in delight inside the BBC studio overlooking the apparatus.

"It's a great breakthrough and a dream come true, getting a medal and getting my name out there," said Purvis, 19.

"When I didn't stick my last tumble I thought that could be it for a medal, but when Shatilov's score came up I was amazed.

"I felt the nerves, definitely, but I had to give it everything in my last competition.

"It's a great inspiration, knowing that Dan Keatings has already done it (at world level). He's a great role model."

Greek 19-year-old Eleftherios Kosmidis surprised Japan's Kohei Uchimura to win the floor title with a score of 15.700, ahead of Uchimura's 15.533.

Cairns scored an average of 13.999 from her two vaults to place last in the final, having won two Commonwealth gold medals earlier this month.

"I didn't expect any higher - it was very competitive and I wasn't expecting to get in the final, so it's a bonus," said Cairns.

"I've got to up my vault difficulty, they're too easy now.

"It's not like we haven't been trying to up them - we have for a couple of years, and it's hard - but we've got to push now."

American gymnast Alicia Sacramone, coming out of retirement at the age of 22, defeated Mustafina for gold on the vault, scoring 15.200 to the Russian 16-year-old's 15.066.

The men's rings title, in which Britain had no finalist, was won by Chen Yibing.

Chen led a Chinese one-two, finishing 0.2 points above team-mate Yan Mingyong with a score of 15.900.

Britain's gymnasts are free to celebrate on Saturday evening in Rotterdam, as no members of the team made it through to Sunday's five remaining individual finals, which conclude the 2010 World Championships.

Louis Smith

GB men medal in apparatus finals



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see also
Purvis claims fifth spot in final
22 Oct 10 |  Gymnastics
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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