Britain′s men won a surprising bronze medal in the team gymnastics competition, and were unlucky to not claim the silver medal after an appeal from the Japanese team meant the home nation were downgraded from second spot.

The result was completely unexpected – Britain′s men have not even qualified for the final since 1924 and just making the final itself was seen as a big achievement.

They shocked competition favourites such as the USA, Russia and Germany and took the bronze in controversial fashion, perhaps marking a change in fortune for Team GB.

A strong all round performance from Louis Smith, Sam Oldham Kristian Thomas, Max Whitlock and Dan Purvis  saw them battling with Ukraine for third place as they went in to their final apparatus, the floor.

Whitlock, Purvis and Thomas landed every move of their floor routines to secure Britain the bronze.

But a surprising twist of events saw Japan, who looked comfortable in second place, make a succession of errors on the pommel horse.

Japan moved down from second place to fourth, leaving Britain and Ukraine in the medals, but they questioned the points awarded to their final gymnast on the horse and made an official inquiry.

Their successful appeal put them back into their deserved silver medal spot as China comfortably won the gold.

But it was Britain′s medal that was the biggest talk of the day and the home nation will look to gain from the result which could spur on the rest of the team after a start which many have perceived as slow.

Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead won Britain′s first medal, a silver, in the women′s road race on day two, after favourite Mark Cavendish missed out on the men′s equivalent on Saturday.

Rebecca Addlington added the second medal on Sunday with a bronze in the 400m freestyle, the event she won four years ago in Beijing.

But it had been anticipated these medals would be just two of many by this stage in the Games for Britain, who had high hopes as they chase a demanding target set by UK Sport.

With a few medal hopes not living up to expectations thus far, many believe Team GB have not risen to the challenge, but the pressure of a home Olympic Games cannot be overstated.

It felt like Cavendish had won the Olympic road race before the Tour de France was even completed, whilst Tom Daley was expected to bring back a medal – no questions asked – in the diving, an event which can be swung with one tiny error.

Daley came fourth in the 10m synchronized diving as he partnered Pete Waterfield on Monday, but still has a chance in the individual event.

Elsewhere the sailors seem to be struggling for form in an event the home team was looking to dominate and a few medal prospects, especially in the swimming, have not made the most of their opportunities.

The triumphs of the home nation are vital to the success of the Olympics and these Games have the potential to be one of the greatest the world has ever seen so the nation will be hoping that the unexpected success in the men′s team gymnastics result will be the much-needed boost for the rest of Team GB.


Image Courtesy of   Sergei Bachlakov /