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Commonwealth Games: England, Wales start strongly

England's Louis Smith competes on the Pommel Horse during the Men's Team Final and Individual Qualification at the SEE Hydro. Picture: PA

England's Louis Smith competes on the Pommel Horse during the Men's Team Final and Individual Qualification at the SEE Hydro. Picture: PA

  • by KATE GARDINER
 

England’s men hit the front in their Commonwealth Games gymnastics team final and Wales’ women also impressed in their event.

The five-man team of Louis Smith, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas, Sam Oldham and Nile Wilson scored 133.806 across the floor, pommel horse and rings, with the remaining pieces of apparatus to be completed on Tuesday.

Scotland’s five of Dan Keatings, Dan Purvis, Frank Baines, Adam Cox and Liam Davie were second with 127.240, while Canada were third with 125.380 ahead of the evening session, while Wales’ men were fourth with 122.339 ahead of Australia and New Zealand.

In the women’s competition, Wales scored 81.398 after competing on the bars and vault to sit top of the team standings ahead of South Africa and Singapore at the halfway stage on the opening day, with a brief appearance by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry appearing to provide inspiration for the home nations.

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The team competitions are being held over Monday and Tuesday and also double as individual qualifications for the all-around and apparatus finals.

Whitlock set the bar for individual qualification for what will be a much-anticipated pommel horse final with a score of 15.733, while Smith was awarded 15.700 and Scotland’s contender Keatings achieved 14.533.

While five gymnasts make up a team, a maximum of four gymnasts can compete on each apparatus. The team score is then calculated by totalling the top three scores on each piece.

The top 24 men and women who have competed on each piece of apparatus will take part in Wednesday’s all-around finals while the top eight on each piece will progress to individual apparatus finals, although only two from any given country can appear in the same final.

As gymnasts will compete on half of the apparatus on Monday, they will only find out if they have qualified on Tuesday night.

Wilson opened the competition on the floor for England and the reigning junior European champion scored 14.458, with Olympic team bronze medallist Thomas going slightly better before Oldham’s 15.325 and Whitlock’s top score of 15.600 gave the team a strong start with 45.391 from the first rotation.

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Oldham came off the pommel horse after Wilson went clean to rule himself out of individual final contention, before the stage was set for London 2012 silver medallist Smith, who commanded the attention of the crowd on the way to a high-scoring routine.

Whitlock came through a slightly hairy moment to regain his shape and edge ahead of Smith by 0.033 of a mark as the pair all but confirmed their place in the apparatus final.

England finished their opening session on the rings, where Oldham top-scored with 14.533.

Scotland opened up their event on the pommel horse, with Keatings’ 14.533 their top score, before moving onto the rings, where Purvis top-scored for his team with 14.700. On the floor, Keatings top-scored for the host country with 14.966.

Charlotte Pollard, who became the first gymnast to represent Jersey at the Commonwealth Games, scored 12.600 on the vault and 9.766 on the bars and will return on Tuesday to complete her qualification bid while Northern Ireland’s Matthew Cosgrave scored 13.133 on the pommel horse to put himself in contention for a final appearance. There was no such luck for Luke Carson, though, as he fell off the horse.

Elizabeth Beddoe lead the way for Wales with 13.533 on bars and 13.900 on vault.

SEE ALSO:

Scotsman Commonwealth Games live discussions

Table: medals won by Team Scotland at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games live blog: day three

 

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