Whitlock claims historic gold for Britain on pommel horse

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 31, 2015 11:44 AM

GLASGOW (Reuters) - Max Whitlock finally ended Britain's 112-year wait for a men's gold medalist at the gymnastics world championships when he swiveled to the top of the podium with a smooth and silky pommel horse performance on Saturday.

The failure of Hungary's Olympic and 2014 world champion Krisztian Berki to qualify for the final raised hopes that Louis Smith might finally land the gold as he had been the top performer in qualifying.

Smith produced a flawless display and sat on top of the standings with 16.033 until Whitlock, the final competitor on the horse, leapfrogged his team mate by just 0.1 of a point with a more dynamic program to complete a 1-2 for the host nation.

Whitlock (16.133) and Smith were the only finalists to break the 16-point barrier, leaving Armenia's Harutyun Merdinyan to finish a distant third with 15.500.

(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Clare Fallon)