Rio 2016: Smith's courage commended after pommel fall


Louis Smith's error on the pommel horse ended Great Britain's medal hopes in men's team gymnastics final, but his courage has been commended by the head of the national governing body of the sport.

With Japan and Russia leading the charge, Britain were battling it out with China for the final spot on the podium at the Rio Olympic Arena.

In a bid to launch his country - also represented by Brinn Bevan, Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Nile Wilson - into the top three, Smith made a switch to his routine for one of heightened difficulty.

Although the 27-year-old fell from the pommel and China took bronze, British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen lauded his bravery to rise to the challenge on the biggest stage.

She said in a statement: "Great Britain performed magnificently to stay in the fight right to the end with each team member producing something special when it was needed under enormous pressure - Nile's high bar, Brinn's pommel and vault, Kristian's vault and Max's floor and pommel.

"Finally a special word on the courage of Louis Smith to step up for the team and try to execute a routine that he does not normally perform, packed with difficulty and added at the last minute.

"Those close to gymnastics will know that even if Louis had achieved a maximum score for his usual routine it would not have been enough to lift Great Britain above fourth, so there was no option but to go for it and he did, under enormous pressure and this should be acknowledged.

"The final scores showed that even this would not have been enough. The team will be naturally disappointed but we want you to know all of us at British Gymnastics are immensely proud of you."