European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Championships Gymnastics: European Championships

European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Championships

Matt Baker presents highlights of the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships from Bulgaria, where much is expected of the GB gymnastics men.

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Last weekend saw the women take centre stage in Sofia, Bulgaria, and


what a couple of days it turned out to be.


COMMENTATOR: Greg written, silver medallists! Becky Downie is the


European Championship can hello and welcome to our second weekend of


action from the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships. I am


joined once again by six time European champion Beth Tweddle.


Lovely to see you again. Obviously you have spoken to the team since


they got back? Yes, when you are out there, it is a bit of a blur.


Whether you can achieve your goals is another thing, but the British


team achieved amazing results, obviously. I spoke to Amanda, and


she has gone from being my personal coach to being the national coach,


being in charge of it all. I think she breathed a sigh of relief. She


had seen them doing all of the hard work in training, she had prepared


them how she wanted to, and it was just a case of, would it work? The


first thing she said was, I have got to work harder, with the


Commonwealths coming up. But a bit of a break for a key Downie, who got


the gold, and her sister as well in the juniors. Yes, it was a double


celebration. Rebecca has had her ups and downs over the past couple of


years, missing out on London, but I am sure last weekend will have taken


over that little bit. I think they have had a couple of days chilling


out, and her focus will now turn to the Commonwealth Games. And a good


feeling for you, then bastion mark we all wondered what would happen to


the women's British team when you did retire. Yes, obviously, people


were thinking, where is the next medal going to come from? We always


knew that we had the talent. I was never worried about them at all. It


was nice to see those results, through next weekend. Without a


doubt. As we say, an outstanding performance from our women. The


pressure now transfers to the men, who have had plenty to smile about


at these Championships over the past couple of years.


COMMENTATOR: That is good work. That was a massive routine!


Perfect. Daniel Keatings's gold medal position... ! Great routine,


job done. Sam Oldham, silver on high bar. Max Whitlock takes gold. What


of performance from our British gymnasts. And no doubt plenty of


good bits to look forward to this afternoon as well. Let's see what is


in store. Next we will have highlights of yesterday's men's team


final. Great Britain looking to defend their title from 2012. That


will be followed by... Well, this GB team have a lot of


international experience between them, so let's hear from the famous


five that are aiming to retain the European team title.


We have all been training together for years. We have had really good


preparation, we are all experienced gymnasts, we know how to handle the


pressure. We are all looking forward to the final. We bounce off each


other so well in training. We are all so close, and training together


at Lilleshall before major competitions helps a lot. In London,


when we got that bronze, that team aspect of everything is always, for


me I think there is more depth in the squad. Obviously, we had Lewis


Smith, who was amazing, but if there was an injury, in this team, we have


people that can cover. In 2012, the French team, one of the guys got


injured on the vault, and they did not have any cover. But if one of us


got injured, anybody could step up and cover. This might not be quite


as important, but for the World Championships, there will be five up


and four scores to count, and I think that is when we can show how


much depth we have got in our country. Not many countries do that


any more, really. Individually, they are very, very strong. But for us,


we know that we are a really strong team as a unit together. We have


seen them training day in, day out, and they have got some big skills.


It is going to be close. Coming into 2012, we knew we had a shout of


winning the gold medal, but that was not the aim. This time around, our


aim is to retain that title. We know how everything is going to go, we


know the order off by heart. We are really confident going into this.


The last Europeans I did was 2010, when we got the silver medal. I have


not got the team gold yet, so I want to get that and defend the title.


For those that are new to the scoring of this, it is made up of


two things, difficulty and execution. As far as that is


concerned, we have some of the most difficult routines in Europe, but


how do you maintain that consistency? It is difficult, you


are thinking, do I go for the extra difficulty, and accept the risk? But


our lads are experienced, they have all been in this three up, three to


count situation when the pressure is on. It is a question of what is best


for the team, who do we put up, what order do we put them up? And it is a


long way around, when you have got six pieces, 18 performances in


total. Yes, if there is one mistake, it is about getting the team spirit


back together and sorting it. Talking of which, the only


difference really between the Olympic team and what you see here


is the replacement of Lewis Smith with Daniel Keatings. We know that


Lewis is back in training and aiming for a place on the Commonwealth team


for England. This was him just a couple of months ago, and looking


good. But like the lads were saying, if you do pick up an injury, you


need another member on your team to be able to cover that. And


unfortunately, at the moment, Louis is not able to cover all of those.


Well Daniel has six European medals, is a good man to have in the team!


This is how it is going to work. You have got eight teams, great Britain


qualified top, almost three marks ahead of Russia, a very strong team


in themselves, but who made a few errors on the day. Ukraine qualified


third, and the Netherlands qualified sixth, making their first team


final, ahead of Germany, who were team champions back in 2010. Let's


have a look at the five gymnasts who are competing for Russia and


Ukraine, Team GB's biggest rivals. The most powerful gymnast I think in


Europe, Ablyazin, he will be outstanding. You have got lots of


others is well, like Belyavskiy. Really making to look their mark.


Then, Ukraine, well, they were pushed out of the medals in the


Olympics in 2012, with Britain getting the bronze. It was touch and


go whether this team would make it, because they were short of funding,


but they managed to get the money together, and here they are. The


countries are working in pairs, with Ukraine competing alongside Britain.


They are going to be starting on wings, and that is where we will


begin our highlights. Over to Christine Still and Craig Heap in


our commentary box. CHRISTINE STILL: Up first for Great


Britain, Max Whitlock. CRAIG HEAP: Into the swinging


elements, very nice, into the crucifix position. Held for the


required team. Time. Forward long swing. Great style in


the handstand. Working well. Just need to hold the form. Double


twisting, double back! Oh, a roll on dismount, that will be costly for


Max Whitlock. That will be very expensive one hallmark deduction for


the fall. It was such a shame, it was a lovely routine. He is the


current British champion, and he was the previous year as well, and he is


usually a really solid competitor, as he is showing here. Very good


style, very good control. But this, the double twisting double Tuck, a


very difficult dismount and he just did not open up in time to land. .


That is the fine balance on the rings, being able to control, and


then it is the swinging element. That puts the others under pressure.


From Holland, Jeffrey Wammes. Highest ever guilty, very powerful


gymnast. And coming to the pommel horse, for Russia,


Nikolai?Kuksenkov. Straight into the single legwork. Good control into


the handstand. Into the Wendy swing. This is great


difficulty, travelling along the horse. Travelling back down the


horse. Keeping the momentum. Well, great start from the young Russian.


Very solid performance. Never really looked in danger at all, looked


totally confident. Really good work here. Clearing the pommel horse


easily, showing good amplitude, good extension. Good start. And Jeffrey


Wammes, a good piece to start on, the vault, it is quite high-scoring.


The final gymnast for Russia. He gets on with the job. A bit of a


loss of form. Again, travelling down the horse. Down and up across the


handles. Combining the travels, to build the difficulty. Up into


handstand. A little bit laboured on that dismount. Not the cleanest


routine. Good style, feet well locked together. Very happy gymnast.


Anything over 14 is a good school, anything over 15, exceptional. Next,


the big rings specialist Igor Radivilov. Look at this for


strength. Flat as a pancake. Into the Malteseno deviation in the


shoulders whatsoever. And without salute these. Suddenly and with


absolute ease. Solid in the handstand. Great into the inverted


crucifix. He wind it up. Double twisting


double back. Nailed to the floor. What a routine! Almost unbelievable


strength, to just lift and hold your body like that. Then the double


double, really cleanly performed. Great stuff. Radivilov, fantastic


performance. The Netherlands are top, they started an vault ahead of


Ukraine. Daniel Purvis on the end of the


runway. He knows Great Britain need a steady showing here.


Very nicely done indeed. Beautifully down the centre. Stratospheric vault


for Dan Purvis. I think he struggled in qualification with the vault, but


that was spot-on. Two and a half twists, nearly nailed the landing.


Dead in the middle, one step to the side. He will be delighted with


that. He made a bit of an error on the vault in qualification. That's a


good start for the British guys. Sam Oldham is the next gymnast out


for Great Britain. 5.6 difficulty. Good two and a half. Just


shuffle on landing. Lovely style. This is what vaulting is all about.


That was absolute textbook technique and quality. Really difficult to do


the two and a half twists. It's a blind landing. If you don't get your


head round in time... Just look at this, powers on, wraps in, legs


glued together. Superb! Look at the height. Spot the flaw. We will have


some of that! Not too many deductions on that.


Kristian Thomas. He really needs to be controlled here.


Just a tiny bit short. Just perhaps a little bit too controlled. He will


have crunched his ankles a little bit there. Walking just a bit


gingerly back. That will be a costly mistake for Christian. -- Kristian


Thomas. The same start a lot of gymnasts are


favouring. Circle to Maltese, back-up to Maltese. The highest


difficulty we have seen so far. And he can swing. Look at that.


Yamawaki, back up rise to the top plunge. And another circle round to


the crucifix. This is unbelievable strength. Great


line in the handstand, locks out there. There is a backward long


swing. Double twisting, double back


straight. Well, what a performance! A really solid routine there. Really


powerful performance. He is the second gymnast up for Russia. The


first gymnast scoring high. This is a very strong piece for the Russian


team. They qualified top on it. Lovely dismount. Kristian Thomas,


very disappointed with himself. Abliazin, a massive score, the


highest we've seen today so far. Here we see Alexandra Balandin.


Great strength, straight through the crucifix.


Yamawaki, back-up to the Maltese. A lifting of the head there.


Can he control the handstand? A slight flicker. Full twisting double


straight. Slight hop back on the landing but another fantastic


performance from the Russian team. Wow, Russia have linked together


three scores all over 15. After two rotations, Russia have taken the


lead. Unfortunately, we didn't see the vaults from the Ukraine, but


they pushed on and vaulted well into second place.


David Belyavskiy knows he needs to fault really well here.


He does it beautifully. The Tsukahara, the double Tsukahara. He


came out of that exactly the right time. Look at the power. Strikes the


front of the horse, wraps in two and a half, opens out, perfect! That


should go well into the 15s. It does. That won't harm the Russian


total at all. Abliazin nominating a six difficulty.


Slightly off-line, but look how long and high that vault was. That was


into the rafters! Technically better than the one before.


15.366. Abliazin really superb vaulting. Sam Oldham for Great


Britain. He is to settle his nerves and keep composed. Come on! Into the


handstand. There is the under somersault with a half turn. Under


somersault again. Into the upper arm, back up rise to the handstand.


Long swing double back, highest difficulty. Great height above the


bars. Another Healy turn. Come on, hold it


steady. Double pike. Just what we needed. Good routine from Sam


Oldham. Steadied his nerves, there were just a couple of occasions


where a little flutter... But he fought on through. He is such a


stylish gymnast. Really controlled himself well. He fought well.


Epke Zonderland for the Netherlands. Olympic champion goes to the high


bar. Full twisting straight over the high


bar. And talked. And into the Gaylord. Combine in these skills


gives you the maximum bonus that the squat half. Into the


handstand. One and a half Rob Balko. Beautiful line.


He's winding up. Launches into a double twisting double straight.


Fantastic! So difficult to link all these difficult moves one after the


other. That was the double twisting


dismount. He is so aware of where he is. And delighted! Epke Zonderland,


15 point 633. A massive score. Daniel Keatings, our first look at


Daniel Keatings today. Dare I say it, one of his favourite pieces of


apparatus. Front somersault from upper arm,


into the handstand. Under somersault, under somersault


half-tone. Into the long swing. Under somersault to one railing


handstand. Beautiful control. He needs to stick the dismount.


Fantastic performance there from Daniel Keatings. Absolutely


delighted. He can actually do a more difficult routine, and I'm just


wondering if the coach has said, we need this one in the bag. He's a


really beautifully stylish gymnast, legs locked together, extension


through the shoulders in all the handstand phases. The Healy finish


really well. Big, strong dismount. What a team performance just when it


was needed. For Daniel Keatings' 15.2 on parallel bars. A super


score. Straight into the front somersault,


swinging into the hands aren't. -- handstand.


Gymnasts must perform moves above and below the bars.


Nice, solid, clean routine. Not the highest difficulty we will see


today, but a very steady and assured performance. This is very classy


work. The gymnast from Ukraine are always very well-prepared. Big


history of gymnastics in their country. They've always got lovely


technique. They are building on their score.


Verniaiev for Ukraine. Strong start, using the same front


somersault. He did well there. Into the Healy.


Massive difficulty. Double front half term dismount.


Originality and difficulty to boot! Here we are, Russia top, Ukraine


into second place. The Netherlands leapt ahead of Great Britain. We


have two marks to make up if Great Britain want to defend their title.


The first gymnast on the high bar for Great Britain, Max Whitlock.


There is the Healy turn, using different grips. Needs a good


discount. Step forward on the landing. Will be costly, half a


mark. On the parallel bars for Russia, Nikita Ignatyev.


Into the front up arise double back. Very difficult. Double back from


support. Really packing in the difficulty. That is the Diamadov.


Stutz. Front our prize. Double front somersault to finish. Very unusual


dismount. Very laboured routine. Max Whitlock, 14.266 - costly, but not


disastrous. Onto the parallel bars. Straight in, very clean. Under


somersault, slight wobble, controlled it well. Settling into


the routine, high difficulty work. Into the handstand. A little bit


early on the Stutz. Double pike front. Hop forward on


landing, not the cleanest routine we have seen from young David


Belyavskiy. I continue that Kristian Thomas has performed well on the


high bar, for 14.866. Sam Oldham for Great Britain. Final gymnast on the


high bar. 15 in qualification. We need it now. Lovely stretch into the


long swing. Full-time, fantastic! Come on, hold this together. Into


the straight catch. Lovely height. And there is another. Catch and half


turn, Healy turn. Good solid performance. Linking those moves


Ford difficulty. Winding up into the dismount. Kicks up high above the


bar! Double twisting double back straight! Great performance from Sam


Oldham, just when it was really needed. Russia are keeping their


nerve. So, Maksym Semiankov knows he wants to give a really good


performance here. Style and easy swing he has started with. Oh,


lovely high half-time. Takes the extra upstart rather than trying to


swing out. Really understands that position well. Swung beautifully


from it. Gymnasts swing forwards and backwards. Pops the full pirouette


very nicely indeed. Increasing the speed so that he can do a lovely


double straight with full twist. Very classy, very nice, but not the


hugest difficulty, and that is obviously their problem. Yes, super


there, Christine. Needs a good performance.


Originality is nice to see. Forward long swing. Slightly off-line,


recovers well. Very difficult in the mixed grip. Winds it up. Happy with


that. Good difficulty, not quite such great style as his team-mate.


But he is an exciting gymnast. In fact, exciting work here. That I


liked very much. Spots the landing well. Has defied to hold it, but he


saw the floor early, you could see that. Semiankov, the judges liked


his style. Not a bad set of scores. Much better than in modification


therefore Ukraine. -- than in qualification there for Ukraine.


And here, Dan Purvis, the first gymnast on the floor exercise for


Great Britain. Double twisting double back, as nonchalantly as you


like, made it look easy. One and a half in two double twisting front,


little bound on landing. Lots of energy. Double twisting front. He


spun it so well. And then the two and a half into the front room. --


into the front full. This has been a really good piece over the years for


Daniel Purvis. He knows he has got to be precise. That's the trademark!


The roll-out, without having to put his hands down. We have had some


great tumbling. You can see him really harnessing the concentration.


This final. Needs to be successful. There is the squat half, very nice.


Into the Katchev with half-time. Into the Markelov, showing nice


distance from the bar. Interesting swing, backwards around the bar. And


out. Showing great originality. There is the hop full. Full twisting


double back. Nailed the dismount. You can see why he is such a great


all-round gymnast. And he will build on the score put down by his


team-mate, I expect. He catches in that mixed grip and creates a


half-time. Quite a quiet finish, just a full twist in the double


straight, but he gave nothing away on the landing. 14.6 four Sarcevic.


-- for Belyavskiy. From South Essex, Max Whitlock. Can he


reproduce his qualification form? What a fantastic full twist into two


and a half twists forwards! And another really difficult twisting. .


This a bit of pommel horse on the floor. A little bit of break dancing


as well. Lots of virtuosity lifts that routine! All that activity, and


then the control of the handstand. You can see the focus. So difficult,


all these tumbles. Some any twists in this routine. -- so many twists.


Finishes with the big triple. What a routine! British guys are really


coming into their own on the floor exercise. So, Kuksenkov. Jumps up


without the coach. Winds up. Great catch, full twisting. This is great


work. Hop full one and a half, but of a loss of form in the legs. That


is the Katchev half-time. Full turn on one arm. Into another release


Markelov, little bit late there on that one. Needs to keep it going to


the dismount. Full twisting double back straight. Very nice work from


Kuksenkov. Interestingly, he was part of the team for the Ukraine in


the 2012 Olympics, and has moved nationalities, now working for


Russia, strengthening their team considerably.


And Max Whitlock, 15.7. Wow! That is some score. And 14.833 four


Kuksenkov. Coming to the floor, Igor Radivilov, a really powerful


gymnast. We are used to seeing him very successful on the rings, but he


can. Good awareness in the air. Super height.


This should be easy for him. So wide, his arms, his head could only


just creep under for the roll. Are difficult, big final tumble.


That was a very nice half in, half out with a full twist, he made that


look very easy. Radivilov there. Very clean opening. The roll-out


smooth. And very well double twisting double tuck. The gymnasts


performing such difficult tumbles on this lovely floor.


Two and a half twisting forwards. He's showing good versatility. Good


twisting, good multiple somersaulting.


The specification of the floor, springs under the floor have been


changed a little bit recently. It is very bouncy. The trick is to control


the landings, though. The triple twist. They are almost


becoming commonplace. Really very nicely flighted. Good routine.


Ukraine putting the pressure on. So, Britain are pushing up there.


They are chasing the Russian Federation.


It Mutai starts proceedings on the floor.


Quick, fast, exciting. A tough gymnast. He has been really


workmanlike throughout this competition.


Double twist, quite simple. Needed to be perfect in landing. It was. A


little bit more difficult finish. Two and a half, a little bit


quieter. He was pleased with that but not huge difficulty there. He


powers in. That's the double twist into the full twist. Foot out and on


the line. That will be a deduction. Lovely flair work, great extension.


Dan Purvis, our first gymnast up for Great Britain.


Great Britain handing a mark on those first two performers. Daniel


Keatings steps to the pommel horse. He can be brilliant on this but he


can be edgy as well. Still the current European champion on this


piece of apparatus. We need that performance right now.


There is the Stockli work. Steps down into the triple Russian between


the handles. Very difficult. Up into the handstand. Yes!


Fantastic performance, thrilled for Dan Keatings to produce that.


Faltered in qualification and hasn't made the final, but that was a


routine when needed. Belyavskiy from Russia, the top


individual gymnast around. Can he do the job for the team as well? Double


straight with full twist. A little bit of a hop, not quite sure if the


flag went up for the foot out. A little bit bouncy in the


handstand. He kicks out of that very well


indeed. Two and a half twist into front full


and jumps out. He's really been very good on the landings. This is final


challenge. Triple twist, fantastic performance from Belyavskiy. They


are fighting hard to get their title back, these young Russian gymnasts.


The final gymnast in this team final for Great Britain, Max Whitlock.


On the one handle, he's gone for the most difficult start possible. Great


control. Up into the handstand. Back down into a spindle on the end. Full


spindle, there it is. Great technique. Look how close his hands


are together. Into the triple Russian. Circling up into the


handstand. With the pirouette. What a performance!


That is a big score for Belyavskiy. Abliazin, the final gymnast for


Russia on the floor in this team final.


Double twisting double straight. You won't see much more difficult than


that. All that! Two and a half twist into


double front somersault. The code requires balanced to the


routine, not all just dynamic tumbling.


Double Arabian, big step. He rushes along to the next tumble. Two and a


half twist into full turning front. He has packed so much in, he's


worked so fast. An immaculate triple twist. They


think that is enough to take the title back from Great Britain. Max


Whitlock, 16.2. Wow, that is an immense score!


15.833. It's enough. Russia in first place. Great Britain in second at


the moment. Russia feel fairly confident no one is going to catch


them. Their best pommel worker, 15.2 in


qualification. A very powerful gymnast, lots of


control, circles well. There is the Stockli. Flock sequence.


Travels along the horse. Stockli into the handles. Wind it up into


the handstand, full pirouette. Solid performance there. Smiles all round.


Very nice, controlled work. Lovely style. I like this guy is a gymnast,


he's quite complete, he's good on every apparatus.


Silver medallists, Great Britain. Fantastic team. We had a few errors


at the start and left ourselves with a bit too much to try to catch


Russia. It's the character we've shown to fight back and get even


into medal contention after a pretty rough start to the competition, that


shows the true character and grit of the team. We will use this as a


stepping stone for the World Championships at the end of the


year. Good on the P-bars today, I got the feeling you might have


expected a better score on the pommel, though. Yeah, I would have


liked a higher mark. You just have to take it. It wouldn't have made a


difference to the overall outcome of the school today. I've just got to


take it on the chin. Today we showed what a team we are. We can have


mistakes individually and those mistakes are as a team. When we


win, we win as a team. I'm really proud of everyone today. We know


what mistakes we made, we will use this as a stepping stone to get


back-in the gym and work on what we might have done. When the next


European comes around we can fight for that gold again. Dan, a silver


is still a great result for the team. It's fantastic. Fighting back


from a bit of a rough start, it showed great determination. Going


into the competition, it's been the first time all the expectation has


been on us, so that the something that is really good and we will have


to learn from it going into the World Championships. That is the


very point, experiencing something that they've never, ever experienced


before. It's a very different ball game when


you are going into the competition after racing -- reigning champion.


What is the key, because you learnt that very young? It is very


difficult, it's trying to put the pressure out of your mind. Those


guys were focused on going for gold. It wasn't a case of just going for a


medal. The one thing they wanted, and you can tell by their


interview, they were quite disappointed they hadn't picked up


the gold, even though it's such an amazing result. Russia would just


outstanding. Thinking of that on the world stage, they would have medals


at the World Championships easy with that. They had their mistakes in


qualification and turned it round in the team final. Unfortunately, we


did it the other way round. It's the best I've seen Russia for a long


time. Britain has still got to be so proud of themselves. Exactly. There


is still plenty to look forward to from Bulgaria this afternoon, as we


turn our attention is to the apparatus specialists.


British double-header, can Daniel Purvis improve on his 2010 bronze


medal and will Max Whitlock retain his European crown? Max circled his


way to the top of qualifying, but can he beat six time European


reigning Olympic champion? Look out for...


The most decorated gymnast in parallel bars history, can he make


at five European titles? A mouthwatering finale. Ambush and


takes on the gold medallist, Epke Zonderland. But can Britain's some


old spoil the party? So, lots to look forward to. Me way be watching


hot competition among the European elite today, but the grassroots


scene is thriving as well. Britain's only gold medallist from Sochi,


Lizzy Yarnold, went to London to investigate.


Growing up playing sport can mean immense joy. But getting teenagers


involved can be difficult. British gymnastics are putting the emphasis


on sport with a smile. What we decided to do inset temblor


was to introduce eight club within a club, it


was to introduce eight club within a teenagers, and they take ownership


and empowerment over what happens in the sessions. It is social, it is


fun, they have a say in what they achieve. The coaches are more


friendly, you can relate, it is like you meet friends and you can


socialise. A lot of them, if they were coming to a normal gymnastics


session, I do not know how their personality would be suited to the


session. We try to be something a bit different to the club. People


are expecting a lot more structured classes, more strict, so I try to


have a bit of banter with the kids, try to get on their level little


bit, have a bit of fun, and that normally works well. That is really


good, I am really enjoying it. I come every Friday. The children tend


to come from the local estates, some of them also come from quite


affluent backgrounds, so there is a mix and balance, which is what


creates the community. It makes me want to have a go! Just have a go,


that is what it is all about. I might split my trousers!


A lot of the fun here is, it is pretty much work and fun at the same


time. It is amazing watching these guys. I remember back when I was


training in village halls, doing the horrible circuit training, but


knowing that it would make you a better athlete. They are


inspirational. Do they do adult classes? That is


what we want to know, isn't it? You are never too old to start. It is


good to see that relaxed approach to gymnastics. Yes, obviously, you do


not have to be at the elite level. Without the grassroots level, you


will never pick up the future champions. It is so nice to see kids


going out and having fun, and you can use it for any other sport.


Sometimes it is so difficult, isn't it, to motivate teenagers. It is a


difficult stage in your life, your body is changing, peer group


pressure... In the past few years, at least we have got role models


now, the younger generation have got people to look up to, and it is


constantly in the eye of the public. And it is sport as a lesson for


life, you put in the effort and you will get a result, which is an


important message, isn't it? It is, and not just in sport. If you work


hard, you will get the results. I believe I would not be where I am


today if it was not for gymnastics. And who knows where the future goes


for you, hey? On the floor, we have two representatives, Dan Purvis and


defending champion Max Whitlock. two representatives, Dan Purvis and


am really looking forward to the floor final. To win it for the first


time last year was amazing. You have moved it on a little bit from last


year's routine? Yes, I have changed it just slightly, to make it more


risky, but hopefully I can pull it off. All round I have done pretty


well over the years. It has been great, but also trying to get a name


for myself on the floor has been a dream of mine. Individually, you


will be up against the defending European champion, Max, how much are


you looking forward to that? It is good, Max's routine looks so


consistent, with a slightly higher start value than mine as well, so he


has got a good chance. Anything for me would be a bonus, to get even a


bronze would be fantastic, just to get my name back out there on the


floor. So, Max and Dan are the last two gymnasts up in this section. It


is worth mentioning that Kristian Thomas would also have made that


final, but you are only allowed two gymnasts pro country. We have got


the Russian in doubt, who upped his qualification score from the team


final. A reminder that Max is the current joint European floor


champion, and he shares that's title with the first gymnast we are about


to see here, Alexander Shatilov. Over two Christine Still, Alison


Mitchell and Craig Heap. Mitchell label and here is. You can


just see the second tumble was higher than the first, and he gave


himself plenty of time to complete all those twists. Lovely double


double, saw the floor, met it perfectly. Two twists, another full


twist, using every centimetre of the floor area. Quite a tour gymnast.


And that is lovely work, isn't it?! A little bit of virtuosity. Is one


of the few gymnasts but when he rebounds from one tumble to the next


really lifts higher each time. One-and-three-quarter, the only


error really, he did not extend his legs fully there. Not really an


error, more a style thing. Here he comes, big final tumble.


error, more a style thing. Here he little bit deep on landing. But such


fabulous work. Some really quirky originality in there. Into the


two-and-a-half, linking those moves. Double double with lots of height.


As you say, Christine, spots the floor well in advance. There is the


double twist. 15.233 in qualification - will he go better?


15.4 puts him at the top of the leaderboard, the person to beat.


Now, Denis Ablyazin of Russia, something of a vault and rings


specialist. But he was a medallist on the floor at London 2012.


CHRISTINE STILL: And he is a really busy gymnast, he really races around


the floor. He makes an enormous number of tumbles. That was one of


the most difficult tumbles you are likely to see. And that was a


fantastic combination. Jams his toes in there, not giving


anything away. Like the rings specialist he is,


makes that look easy. Powerful and dynamic.


Big double Arabian offer jump. We are seeing such enormous tumbles


here. Every single one landed with ease. He just needs to concentrate


right through to this finish. Triple twist, just a step back, but that


was fabulous floor worked. So dynamic, so exciting.


CRAIG HEAP: Phenomenal floor work there from the young Russian,


absolutely jam-packed with difficulty. He runs into a


two-and-a-half twist. Stratospheric! And this tumble here, well, back in,


double twist out, the highest difficulty. Unbelievable tumbling.


And then again, there is the double twist,


And then again, there is the double front. To connect those tumbles


gives the gymnast massive, massive points. And then finishes,


two-and-a-half, easily. For me, that is the one to beat. Well, all that


power has earned him a 15.7, rocketing him into first place -


what a performance. Next up, from Greece, former world champion on the


floor in 2010 Kosmidis, European champion in 2012. He specialises in


the floor exercise. Good combination to start with.


And another super tumble, one and a half twist, Punch, double front.


But he gave a little push of his feet there.


And that is a little deduction the judges will not have missed.


Two-and-a-half twist, front full. The gymnasts practice their landings


so much, and you can see the reason why. Under pressure like this, they


need to be sure they know exactly where the floor is. What is he going


to show us at the end? Full twisting double back, and he held that really


excellently. Wow, that was a battling performance. What a floor


final this is turning into. A really well-controlled routine. He pushes


into the double twist, into the one and a half - not a murmur. Into the


double front, kicks out. There we go, that is the two-and-a-half


twist. If anywhere, he snatched a little bit into that full twist, but


yet again, perfect landing. It is not enough to put him top of


the leaderboard, but he goes into second. I think he well, Max


Whitlock became Great Britain's first-ever European floor champion


when he won joint gold last year. Can he defend his title? He has


watched the opposition, he knows he needs a big performance here. He is


a fabulous twister, see if you can count them. Front somersault, into a


two-and-a-half. Already pushing the way. Three and a half, into a front


half, and he landed with one foot out, and that will be costly. Lovely


work on the floor, very exciting. Super control. Good body shape.


One-and-three-quarter, rolls out smoothly. Another big tumble here.


Two-and-a-half, into one and a half. This is how he increases his


difficulty. The combinations added together, needs this big finished on


it triple twist, that was clean, that was great! -- needs this big


finish. That was a hugely complex tumble. He really can twist. Look at


this, three and a half. Fantastic flexibility in the flare work as


well. He really does pack in the difficulty, combining the twisting


elements, really great kick out there in the roll-out. The judges


will be looking for that. He nails the landing.


Not enough for a medal today for Max Whitlock. The penalty stepping out


has cost him. All eyes now on Dan Purvis. Can he get in amongst the


medals? Super start, super landing. One and


a half into the double twist front. He opened out really well of the


double front. What a landing that is!


Daniel, a very good, all-round, strong gymnast.


That is beautiful. He doesn't need to use his hands on the roll-out.


Everyone knows this is a very complex, difficult tumble.


Into the double Arabian, blind landing and he nailed it. Superb


routine. That might just be his performance of the championships on


the floor. Fantastic. Double front, there. There was a step but that's


only 0.1. Two and a half, full twist. There is the roll-out, great


control there. No deductions and a massively difficult final tumble,


the Whip salto into the double tucked Arabian. He needs 15.4. More


to get into the bronze medal position. He's there!


There will be a medal for Great Britain in the floor final. Dan


Purvis with a joint bronze. Great to see Dan Purvis back on the


podium. His first major medal on the floor since he took bronze at the


world and euros on this apparatus in 2010. I'm really pleased with it.


Hopefully I can sustain it for the World Championships. If I was on the


British team I would want him beside me.


He bangs it out in training and he does the same in competition. He has


had a couple of years where he is maybe not been at the forefront of


the team but still picked up those team medals. It's nice to see him


getting that individual medal. And it is one up for Scotland, looking


ahead to the Commonwealth Games. Slight disappointment for Max, with


his foot out on the floor. But he was hoping to add to his medal


tally. Let's look at it, it's remarkably impressive on the


international scene. He is not just picking up one medal


at a time at a Championships, he's got the potential for the all-round


team. He is a massive potential for 2016. 21 years old. His target is


Lewis Smith's medal tally of 13. He still got quite a way to go to beat


yours of 20! But he still got a lot of years left in him. We will see.


The future is looking incredibly bright and strong for Great Britain.


Dan Keatings is the current European pommel horse champion. In fact, he's


won that title twice. But in qualification things really didn't


go according to plan. This is his equivocation routine.


He ended up qualifying in 13. You just saw then he had the leg


separation, the bent leg. Unfortunately, that can be enough to


put you out of a final in this top-level game. Unfortunately, you


can see he was very disappointed with that. He knew he had to carry


on fighting for that team but that face says it all. It's the story of


what could have been, so no transfer him to retain his title. But Great


Britain do have the highest qualifier in Max Whitlock. In the


team final he posted an enormous 16.2. Here are Dan's thoughts on


Max's difficulty. It's the hardest in the world, 17.4. There's quite a


big difference between the next guide to him. If he goes through his


routine like we've seen him in training, he's got every chance of


taking the title. It's a really long routine, he's worked really hard on


his fitness and stability. It's looking really good and I'm quite


excited for the final. This routine, it's hard. Guess, it's a


hard start and the skills are risky in there. I'm going all out. I want


to keep that up for the final. You have to have a high start score to


compete with these guys, Krisztian Berki, Olympic gold medallist. They


are world-class. There are some strong people in that final. Let's


look at the strong gymnast in this final and see where everybody is


going. First up on pommel is Bertoncelj of


Slovenia, bronze medallist in the Europeans in 2010. Start


straightaway into the single legwork.


A very nice move on one handle there. Building up into the


wendeswing is on the one handle. Really build the difficulty there.


Wu travel into the full spindle. Nice start.


they are going to have to do something special, when you start


with a good performance it often goes right the way through the


final. Lovely style. I love that on the one arm.


The aim is to hold the body as straight as possible, with the heels


up hide behind, hands in line. You can see he's really got a good


style. All these finalists will have good style, they won't have got


through to the final without. A little bit of a bend of the elbows,


there will be a deduction. He does improve his qualifying


score, he'll be pleased with that. Now we have a former Olympic silver


medallist. It is Ude, 27 years of age. Straight into the single leg


scissor work, great extension there. Lots of amplitude on the circles, up


into the handstand. There was a pause there. The highest difficulty


work there. There is the wendeswing in the middle between the handles.


Really difficult pommel work here. There is the Wu travel. He's off!


What a shame! That was such a virtuosity and amplitude there. He


was going for broke in that routine. Packed with difficulty. He can be


temperamental on these big occasions. He qualified in second


place, he was a real medal chance. Back-in there. Fantastic extension


on those circles. Lots of clearance on the Magyar travel. There is the


full pirouette. Real disappointment there because some of that work was


really very special. It is such a taxing apparatus. You


have to keep absolute control of the body all the time through. All the


great work is spoilt by the fact that if you fall off, the judges


just take one mark away. There are no ifs or buts about it.


Not what he was hoping for today. Could this be the man, then, to


challenge for gold? The living legend of the pommel horse, six time


European champion, two-time world champion and the reigning Olympic


champion, Krisztian Berki. This will be phenomenal.


The amplitude in the legs there, up into the handstand, back again.


Beautiful line. This builds the difficulty. A little


legs split on the Wendy swing. -- wendeswing. Onto the end, into the


womb. He's going for the difficulty. There's the Magyar travel. It's


slightly laboured. He's having to fight this. Up into the handstand.


There is the pirouette. But fight he did. That was a really


exciting routine to watch. Such amplitude. Look at the height of the


legs. No problem clearing the pommel, is there? There's no chance


of the legs hitting. Right up into the handstand and lovely swing the


whole time. Really exciting stuff. He didn't


have the highest start of value in qualification but he looked like he


added a bit in there and made it much more difficult. Fantastic work


on the one handle and between the handles.


He had a couple of little deductions when his legs splayed apart. You can


see he's just tiring a little bit, closer to the handles now by the end


of the routine. It was a very difficult routine. He


fought right to the end. I expect this will be a very big score. But


beatable, I feel. It has taken him into first place.


Terrific work from Krisztian Berki, putting him into the gold medal


position. Straight onto Macs. Single legwork,


onto the one handle. That's the big difficulty skill. Back onto the one


handle there with the Stockli. Into the circle. This is a difficult


Busnari. Fantastic, come on, Max. There we go. Winds up the circle,


into the full spindle. He needs to travel along the horse, compose


himself. Magyar, into the Wu travel. Into the triple Russian. Keep it


going. Up onto the one handle, into the handstand. Full turn dismount.


Well, what about that? Fantastic difficulty. You can see the Brits in


the crowd cheering away. He really went for all his difficulty. It's


those fantastically difficult moves all crammed in together that make


the difference. Here, he also shows lovely amplitude. This very


difficult work, just a tiny flicker of bent knees at that point, but


this is so difficult. He was well into the sevens on difficulty in


qualification. This is powerful stuff indeed. Look at this here.


Wonderful work. He is such a composed gymnast as well. Quite


relaxed sort of person. Right from a young age he's always been able to


produce the goods when it has mattered. That is one of those


skills, as a coach, you can do lots for your gymnasts and help them


improve, but it is a little bit something that is in a gymnast,


being able to soak up the pressure and perform on the moment. Max has


certainly got that ability. 16.166 puts Max Whitlock into the


gold medal position, and that surely will be enough to make in European


champion! There is confirmation, Max Whitlock takes gold, he is the new


European champion on the pommel horse. And the Silver ghost of the


reigning Olympic champion Krisztian Berki. The bronze goes to Saso


Bertoncelj. Max Whitlock is the European champion on pommels for the


very first time. He takes the congratulation from his fellow


gymnast, and a score of 16.166, the only gymnast in the final to break


16 points. A tremendous performance from him. He keeps that European


gold medal within British gymnastics, taking over from Dan


Keatings. Max, European pommel horse champion,


that must have a nice ring to it wanted yes, I am really happy, I put


everything into that routine, and to beat somebody like Krisztian Berki,


who I really look up to in this sport, it is a real achievement for


me. You did not just beat him, you destroyed him, which sends out a


massive message. Yes, I am really happy for the team, and to get


through it, every routine that I do, I try to up it more and more. How


tough is this routine been to learn and to perfect? It is really tough,


the hardest bit has been building up that stamina, in the build-up to the


competition. Once you get that, it is all about cleaning the Scot


worked really hard to get and managed to pull it off on the day.


What can you say?! I think he took a lot of that fight and disappointment


from the floor and put it into that Rommel 's routine. Yes, he qualified


first on pommel and floor, and he had the disappointment. Sometimes


you do take it onto the other routine, as you say. He does take


the risks, and he will be working towards the world's, wanting to put


it out there. He did not hold back, he wanted to do it in style. Yes, I


think he already knew what plan he wanted to do, trying the difficult


routine, hunting for the future, not just for gold on this occasion.


Let's have a look at the routine. As Max was saying, 7.3 difficulty, so


the whole routine was marked out of 17.3... Max has got such clean


lines, there is not a lot for the judges to take. He is so fast, and


he knows exactly what is going on. That was the new skill which we just


saw there, which really builds up his difficulty. One thing he has


struggled with this season is that it is a lot longer, and he has found


the stamina hard, so he has spent a lot of time just building that up.


And he does not do all the difficult stuff at the beginning, when he has


got the muscle power, does it the middle as well. You could hear the


British crowd in the background, they knew that if he went from a to


be at the end there, that he would have that title in his pocket. If


you were with us last week, you will have seen how brilliantly our junior


girls performed. So, how have the junior boys got on in Sofia? Nick


Pope will let you know. Having won the team title three times in a


row, there was expectations rather than hope that the British junior


squad would succeed again. The Russians had other ideas. Despite a


clean rings routine by J Thompson, great return were trailing their


rivals early on. But Gianni then delivered big. The parallel bars


brought out the best in Nile Wilson. Bryn Bevan impressed on the


high bar, eating Great Britain a clear lead heading into the final


rotation. GB edged ahead of Russia to secure gold. It was going to be


close between us and Russia but we managed to stay strong as a team and


encourage each other. Wilson returned for the all-round final.


Bevan had a less dramatic day, consistent throughout, with a solid


display on the pommel horse, claiming bronze. Wilson put in a


powerful performance on the floor, landing the 18-year-old his first


individual European title. I had a bit of an error on the parallel


bars. I thought, what am I doing, grit my teeth, big heart, went


through the rest of it and absolutely smashed every


routineextraordinary, Nile got himself three golds. A super


dismount. And look at the release on the high bar here. Just remarkable.


And Gianni as well, on the floor, he got a gold. Just strength in depth


with this team, Beth? Yes, they have come away with a lot of medals.


Barry Callier has been working really hard with them. Four times


consecutive team champions, what an achievement from our junior boys.


And there is another page, it does not stop there. They took six out of


the eight gold medals, a few years ago, you would not even have


believed that British gymnastics would be able to do that. When you


compare the girls to the boys as well... Yes, the girls took the


lead, then the boys took over, and now the girls are coming back into


their own. British gymnastics is looking really bright, the prospects


for 2016 are amazing. Going back to the men, and our next final, which


will be the rings. It will be some time before those juniors make their


mark at a senior level on this particular piece of apparatus. No


British interest, the highest was Dan Purvis, who was in 14th. The


Netherland competitor, now 31 years old. But we are going to start with


the highest qualifier, Denis Ablyazin. Let's see how the strong


men get on in this European rings final.


ALISON MITCHELL: Here is someone who is built like a classic rings


gymnast, floor champion Denis Ablyazin, let's see what he can do


on the rings. This is his piece of apparatus.


Qualified in first place. Down and back up. Highest difficulty work.


Laying into the Yamawaki. And straight to that flat top planche.


Circle round again to the crucifix. Showed a little flicker in the


face. Only difficult work. Must show control on the swinging elements. He


is winding up. It is going to be a big dismount. Double twisting double


back straight! Slight hop on the landing. Fantastic routine there


from the young Russian. . Really special work. Are we going to see a


double gold medallist? White and usual, floor and brings together.


Such a powerful gymnast, but he swings nicely as well. Kills it into


a strength element. That is really wonderful. Shoulders in line with


the hand. He was the bronze medallist on the rings in 2012. Big


score on execution. This is the joint defending champion, from


France. CRAIG HEAP: Very strong gymnast,


straight up to the top planche. Swing into the Maltese, pressing


into the invert. Shoulders flat. Highest difficulty work. Circle


backwards into the hands stand. Into the swinging elements, that is the


double pike. Circling round to the Maltese. He is


having to work now. Beautiful crucifix.


Layout up to the handstand. Half in, half out dismount. Nailed the


landing. You can see a well strapped shoulder, that is the danger for


these ring specialists, they do so much strength work. You have to


circle as well, and he just gets a little bit of movement at the top of


the rings. He controls it well. Into the double front somersault. Now,


that is a lovely position, really good, straight body-line. And look


at him stretches fingers out, not even gripping the rings. A little


bit of virtuosity. The full twist in the double straight, it was a little


bit piked again, but it was a strong challenge. You used the word


virtuosity there, is that almost an element of showboating? Look at that


school, it puts the defending champion up into second place. Yes,


a little bit of showboating, I can do this easily. No effort at all!


Now, this man from Armenia qualified in third. If he can repeat that all


better, he will be up in the medals. If rates strength, through to the


top planche, back to the Maltese. Onto the crucifix. But alignment


with the shoulders, good body position.


Nice swing, into the handstand. Swinging straight to the Maltese.


Circle background to the crucifix. Back prize to the top planche. --


back prize. Now that is more like it. That was a nailed dismount, full


of confidence and determination! Full of difficulty, this routine.


Needs to lock out through the shoulders into a pure line, just


holding a slight shoulder angle. Here comes the swinging sections.


And this, the excellent dismount, not a flicker. That is how to land.


Has he done enough to get himself up into the medals? He looks excited -


and he is out there, 15.7, he is in the bronze medal position! Fabulous


marks for execution. Aleksandr Balandin of Russia. Former European


champion on the rings. In 2012. spot, it will be this man. Look at


that strength. That is Balandin, spot, it will be this man. Look at


that is his move. Circle round to Maltese. Very flat. This will be his


second move. That is also his own move, absolutely packed with


difficulty, and great swinging elements.


Slight lift of the head to say, this is easy!


There's a slight wobble there. He's got to hold on. Full twisting double


straight. Much better on the dismount. Will it be good enough?


Well, he had the highest difficulty in qualification. A 6.9 difficulty


score. Even with a tiny waiver, that looked really impressive work.


Such strength and style. We've seen good execution scores on the rings


being awarded today. That was a lovely shape.


If he can match the others on execution he certainly will be the


work -- the winner. He makes the landing. He thinks that's good


enough. He gave a little view nonchalantly nods to the judges. He


has done it. He's up there. It equals the score of Abliazin. There


will be not one but two European champions on the rings this year.


We are moving on to the vault. Kristian Thomas won a bronze medal


at the worlds in Antwerp. There were high hopes for him but could he go


one further? It didn't quite work out.


His first vault was fantastic, just a small hop at the end.


Unfortunately, it was the second one. It was a blind landing, he


didn't get his block and didn't get enough height to get around. This is


the thing with the vault final, you get two and the average is taken. It


is, but they are so difficult and there is little room for error. If


you don't get it quite right it is the end of the game. It is


effectively one move, it's over in the blink of an eye. If you don't


quite get that block right, which was the case in the second one...


And it's also very difficult in the finals, you have no time to get


yourself warmed up. And judging your adrenaline as well. The run ups are


so different, because some gymnasts don't want to overrate it that much.


You've got that excitement which can give you the extra height, it can be


crucial on the landing. Millar having had experience in the final,


it really helps with wanting to get those medals. Some of the names in


this final have been there, done it and know exactly how to control that


adrenaline. Let's have a look at the top eight who made the final.


Let's get down to the end of the runway and watch the final.


The gymnasts have to do two different vaults. Here we see a


scuttling run. Big double front with a half turn out. A fantastically


difficult vault. He landed in quite a good, straight line and then


hopped to the side a little bit. That was good execution of a hugely


difficult vault. Yes, it blocks up. That's a double front somersault,


half turn out, favoured by some of the gymnasts.


Two somersaults off. Really fantastic vault. He did very well


not to bound forwards and put his hands down.


There was nothing nonchalantly bout this approach. Powers in, rats into


the double pike back. Very lucky not to bounce forward. Just look at the


front on push. Plenty of length, opened out at the right time. Just a


little kickback. Two and a half twists, lovely


spatial awareness. He planted his feet down very well indeed. He won't


have too many deductions there. Beautiful vault.


Very difficult to land, it's a blind landing. He locks his legs together.


He hits the floor. Very difficult to be done from that vault.


He's just 18. 15 for that first vault, very good start.


The challenge for all these gymnasts is the second vault.


Very good indeed. Straight front with double twist. Very difficult.


That same super spatial awareness and meeting of the floor. Yes, the


mass appeal draft from the springboard, blocks of the top, the


double twist in the straight position, very difficult to create


so much rotation. A little bit down on execution for


the second one, but two very strong vaults from the youngster. Tuuha of


Finland steps up. The former European champion himself on this


apparatus. Willed that power, lifts, two and a


half twists, nice big, long vault. Just that little hop on landing.


Very tidy, very well performed. Nice acceleration. If anything, slightly


higher than the previous vault. A little bit longer as well.


The judges doing the execution score have to decide whether there was any


lack of height, lack of length. There was a little hop. They quite


liked it. A good start for his first vault.


Double twisting front, but he went well off line when he landed. A big


jump across. He is obviously thrilled to have made the landing


securely but there will be directional faults. A very difficult


vault with the blind landing. Did very well to control that. He


could have easily sat down. He really holds a lovely shape.


This man already has a floor gold and a rings gold to his name. He is


the defending vault champion. He's going to do one of these big,


huge vaults with a six star value. Super-speed, super height, super


landing. Two and a half somersaults off the hand. He just makes it looks


like he stood on the top and done back somersault to in training. Just


look at the power. He attacks, wraps in, almost the double straight off


the vault. Huge faulting. Only one tenth on deduction therefore the


landing. Great height. Very powerful indeed.


9.2 for the execution, 15.2, a strong start from Abliazin.


Unusual, the second vault harder than the first. The mat in front of


the board shows he's going to make around off action. Fantastic!


Straight front off with two and a half twists. That is really massive


difficulty. And he only just squeezed it in. Look at this. The


half term, wraps into the two and a half. Just about kept his knees


there from the mat. With such difficulty, he might just


be good enough. What a Championships he's having so far, this young man


at 21. It has put him into first place.


Verniaiev has never won a gold medal at the European Championships. A


slight but technically perfect gymnast.


The floor didn't come and hit him, he landed on it. That was very


impressive. Yes, he performed much better there. " landing. He had


plenty of time. Wraps in, half turn, open out. One step back on the


landing. The nominal faulting. Cashback vaulting. His chest was


right up. He rubbed his Achilles a little bit


because he bent his knees and took a landing. A few of them land on


straight legs and just bounce. He really gave a textbook landing.


This has to be almost perfect for a medal. His knees touch. He just lost


a bit of direction. Huge twist. He didn't quite get the block off the


top. Ouch! He went round the side, lost form in


his legs, stepping out over the zone there. He twisted very early,


forcing him to bend the legs, losing control on the landing. It was


almost a cross between a half arm and a handspring. I think it will be


deducted quite heavily. There will be deductions but... It's


putting him up there into the medals.


It is a third individual gold medal for Abliazin.


No doubt Verniaiev will be getting strapped up, he's in the parallel


bars final next. The next major competition for our gymnasts will be


the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, with the opening ceremony taking


place on the 23rd of July. There's going to be a very interesting


battle within the British team, with the two Dans representing Scotland,


and Max and Sam flying the flag for England.


To be in Glasgow, in the home arena, I cannot wait. It is great to


compete for England. There is already banter going on in the gym.


The national coaches will sometimes shout out, after we have done a


routine on the pommel horse, 2-0 to Scotland! It will be interesting


fighting against each other. There have been a few jokes already. There


are rivalries between team-mates, so it is even better. In the training


camps, we are all going to be at Lilleshall together, the different


teams. Scotland have never got a team medal before, and that will be


one of our main targets. I am sure we will have plenty of English fans


supporting us as well. You want to be facing someone from England,


don't you? It would be great! Well, all the gymnastic events are in the


same venue as where the 2015 world gymnastics Championships will be


held. Craig Heap is joining us now, having just popped out of the


commentary box. The reason you are here is that you won two golds in


the Commonwealth Games. We have got some footage, which


the Commonwealth Games. We have got the archives! This is you on the


high bar, Craig! A packed crowd as well. I mean, this is top-level


gymnastics, you do not get much better than that, to be honest! I


should be at the Europeans this weekend, to be honest, but old age


got in the ways! There is a very squeaky bar, I did not know if that


was your knees, or the apparatus! What a dismount, look at that! It


was a massive decision, to be honest, to carry on after the Sydney


Olympics, two more years. But actually being given the opportunity


to compete in your own country, representing your own country, is


something that will probably stick with me for the rest of my life,


something that I am really glad I did. And we have talked about this


competition within the British team, England and Scotland - what are your


predictions? Well, I like the underdog so I am really rooting for


Scotland. It was the same for us back in 2002, we trained with some


of the guys in the Scottish team. Even though they were qualifying for


individual, they were not at that level to push for a team medal, so


it is really exciting. There is also a rivalry between the coaches, isn't


there? Eddie will be looking after the England team, and Paul will be


looking after the Scotland team. Yes, I think there might be a few


bets going on. Definitely, the coaches are really put that stiff.


-- the coaches are really competitive. It makes for


interesting debate in the bar afterwards. I think we found out


where your loyalties are lying last week! It is England for you wanted


should definitely. Most of the British team at the moment are


English. And I will be supporting team England, I am an ambassador for


them. Within the boys team, it will be a massive battle. It is nice to


see that Scotland have got that strength and depth to content for a


team medal. Moving onto our penultimate final of the day, we are


looking at the parallel bars final. Let's have a look at the top eight.


The highest qualifier is the one we just saw, this is his third final.


And Mitja Petkovsek is now 37 years old. And if bars are involved, Epke


Zonderland will always be in with a shout. Let's find out what happened.


ALISON MITCHELL: To get us under way, on parallel bars, the European


silver medallist from 2012, Oleg Verniaiev.


CRAIG HEAP: Straight into the handstand. Very precise, under


somersault with the half-time. Under somersault, into the Healy turn. Top


difficulty. Another under somersault, looking out those arms


that is the under bar skill. Straight up to the handstand. Healy


turn, reverse pirouette. That is the Stutz. Front uprise. Double front


half term, nails the landing! What a performance.


CHRISTINE STILL: Well, that was a great routine, he is a real


no-nonsense gymnast. Beautiful work, beautiful body shape. Lovely


extension through the shoulders in the handstand position. Feet locked


together, and this is a very difficult skill, right at the


beginning of the routine. Very clean in his pirouetting work, and this,


so high, swings up to the handstand. Beautiful body-line at all times.


And then, for good measure, he adds in a really difficult, interesting


dismount. Bronze on the vault, he really wants to be top dog on this


apparatus, doesn't he? First to go in the final, and he was delighted


with his dismount. A very good score to start this final.


Here is a legend of the parallel bars, Mitja Petkovsek of Slovenia.


Two-time world champion, four-time European champion on this apparatus.


Straight to work, up into the handstand. And he has made a


mistake. Under somersault straightaway. Off the bars. Looked


like he was not happy with the grip there. Whether he slipped


underneath... He has 30 seconds. Starts from on one rail. Beautiful


now front somersault, nice and high to catch. Half-time. Into the


Tippelt, come on, this is more like it. Healy turn.


Cuts the routine short. That is the end of his European Championships.


It has been a long way since qualification, and always


disappointing if it finishes without success. A bit of a bent leg on that


catch. Lovely lift off the bars. Double pike, finished easily. There


is his score. So, a disappointment for Mitja Petkovsek. David


Belyavskiy of Russia, 2013 bronze medallist. Can he go better here?


Under somersault to handstand, to one bar. Front uprise Diamadov,


straight into the Tippelt. Very difficult gymnastics. That is a


front somersault to catch. Straight into a handstand. Healy turn.


Slight flicker of the lakes on the Stutz to one rail. Into the Stutz.


Front uprise. Double pike front dismount, great routine from David


Belyavskiy. Fabulous pace to this routine. He is crisp. Fast and


dynamic. Very strong gymnast. And here, lifts


up high, double pike front, just that little bit more difficult than


the doubletalk front. Body a little bit slower through the air. Coach,


highly delighted. Oleg Verniaiev is really the only gymnast to really


put in a score so far, so he should be right up there. And indeed


Belyavskiy goes up to second place. Epke Zonderland, he should be able


to challenge for a medal. Hugely talented gymnast, last man to go


full very original. It is a beautiful move. Healy turn, straight


in to the front somersault. Really difficult combination. That is the


Diamadov. Back into the bar. Needs a strong finish. Double pike back.


Well, he just needed a good dismount, Epke Zonderland, better


known for his phenomenal high bar work, but he has always been a good


parallel bars work as well. In fact, in 2011, he got a silver on


this apparatus, and just like his high bar work, it is full of


original combinations, difficult terms. He is wonderfully spatially


aware, he knows just where his body is. And he has become over the last


few years a really stylish performer. He was always exciting,


but look at this. Pirouettes along the rail, along the bar, smooth...


Looking in very good shape. His lines are improving. There, the


double pike, chest beautifully up on landing - good stuff. He has had a


silver and a bronze at the European Championship 's in the past. It will


take an almighty effort to top the score of Oleg Verniaiev. Yes,


probably not enough to top the table, but certainly enough to get


into the medals, I really hope so... . Well, he has got bronze. He


is up into the medals, and it means the European Championship is


Ukraine's Oleg Verniaiev, who takes home the gold medal. He improved on


his qualifying score. A deserved winner, in what turned out to be a


low scoring parallel bars final. There is the confirmation.


Thank you, Alison. Now, the last of the individual apparatus finals, and


what a way to finish. It is the high bar. If you are watching this on


your own, just get everybody around the telly, because two of the


high-flyers to look out for, the former world champion, as well as


Epke Zonderland. He is such a performer under pressure, Fabian.


There was a lot of pressure, because after the Olympics year, you have to


prove that you can do it again. The preparation was not that long


because I spent a lot of my time on my study. For these Europeans, more


time to prepare, and I expect more of myself. Studying to become a


doctor? Right now, I have to do internships, in hospitals, but I can


do it part-time. Both of us, we are always in touch. We both wanted to


be in the final. We are good friends, we have known each other


for more than ten years. We always say in touch and he is a nice guy.


We will have a nice battle. Both of us are going to raise up the


difficulty in the final, so we will see. Six weeks ago, he was in doubt


if he could compete because he had some trouble with his shoulder. It


was disappointing to me because he is that good, that I have to do the


best that I can to beat him. That is a big goal to compete with him, so I


am really happy that he is healthy right now, healthy enough, and I can


trust that he will do very well in this competition. We will have


another battle, which starts at zero points, so the best one will win. I


have improved a little bit on high bars, so hopefully I can get closer


to him this time and maybe I can beat him. That is a big motivation,


but I just want both of us to hit our routines and just have a good


battle. Here is Fabian Hambuchen. A highly


decorated gymnast. A really talented high bar performer.


Gymnasts are allowed to be lifted up. He winds up with the big full


twisting co-Fach in the straight position. Oh! That was a nasty Cain


under the bar. You have such speed, he caught the bar. He obviously


didn't quite get over. That was a bit of a nasty fall. He's definitely


winded himself. The speed he was coming through the bottom there. He


was going for full stretch catch, lovely hide.


He must have severely winded himself. Not wise to continue under


those circumstances. He looks OK but he will be stiff and sore. He


wouldn't get back on and do himself any justice at all. The most


important thing he -- see was able to get up and walk away from the


apparatus. It is the turn of Great Britain. Sam


Oldham stepping up a little earlier than he thought he might have to


Hambuchen's fall. A silver medallist in Moscow.


Here comes the big release. Full twist in the co-Fach in the tuck


position. The Tkachev, he's working out of these elements. The half-tone


very smoothly up into the handstand. That close element. Now winds up,


changes the swing again. Uptight, two twists, beautiful landing. Very


good work. British gymnasts delighted up there. You can see the


juniors who freely stormed this Championships. Fantastic, Junior


European champion on the high bar. To go up after the first ball and


deliver a routine like that was as good as he could do. Just look at


this, straight from the start. That is the marker love, catching on


straight arms. That is the straddle Tkachev with


half-tone. -- turn. He winds up, kicks high into the


air, wraps in, double twist in, double back. He's happy with that.


It is a little down on his qualifying score.


For Switzerland, here is Oliver Hegi. 21 years old, in his first


major final. Very nice. The extra full twist.


Release the bar, one and a half twists... He stalled it likely on


that full turn. -- stalled it slightly. Just a


little bit short on control on those couple of elements. Regained his


composure now. Single twist in the double straight


with a step. Some great work there but a couple of little areas where


you can see... You can see he is relieved. The release, with one and


a half twists to re-catch, something you used to do, Craig. Yes. Very


difficult. It's called the DEET double F. Really difficult to keep


your legs jammed together, which he did. He was slightly laboured. The


judges will be looking out for that. There's the Healy turn. Not just


flat in the shoulders on the invert. Winds up nice. Kicks up and hide.


Just the full twist in, double back straight with a step back on the


dismount. Sam Oldham still leads the way.


Could Kristian Thomas beat that? I'm sure he will be very keen to give a


great performance. Into the straight Tkachev and the


Tkachev to mixed grip. Lovely swing. All important to maintain the swing


as you work. Full turn out of the endo. Straight into... Really good


swing. He's got to give it everything on the dismount. Just a


little pace, but that was fabulous work from Kristian Thomas. It would


be good to see a smile. That was packed with the highest difficulty.


That straight Tkachev with full twist is absolute top drawer. Really


did nail everything in this routine. Hop forwards, squat, bang into the


handstand, so precise. That's the straight Tkachev, catching on


straight arms, straight arm out. Then we see again, there's the


straddle Tkachev with a half turn. Then he winds up into the dismount.


Nice, straight legs, kicks high above the bar. Nice extended full


twist. One step back on the landing. Well, I think we might just have a


new leader. I think you could be right. He goes


into second place. Sam Oldham keeps his place in the gold-medal


possession, but it's silver at the moment for Kristian Thomas.


Epke Zonderland aiming to go straight in at the top year if he


can. Zonderland without doubt the most


exciting gymnast on the high bar. He's so fast, he swings round this


so quickly. Look at that, straight into the


front somersault over the bar. That is two of the most difficult moves


in the code linked together. That's where he gets his enormous


difficulty score from. Really got lots of energy, lots of


speed. Double twist in the double straight. That is really special.


This was just absolute classic gymnastics. Beautiful line. Really


accelerates and works the bar. The full twist in, double straight, the


casino. Then he does another one for good measure.


Straight into the Gaylord to over the bar. Hop full turn, bang into


the handstand. We have said in the past he has lost a bit of form, but


he has really tarted up his routine. Double twisting, double back. Will


it be a 16? 15.866. The rockets into the gold medal position. He's the


world and Olympic champion. No doubt soon to be confirmed European


champion. First of all stepping up, Kristian


Thomas, his first individual medal at the European Championships,


taking the bronze. Kristian Thomas would probably have expected it to


be a vault medal, if anything. Delighted with these medals.


Kristian Thomas, from the girls gymnastics club, Sam Oldham, from


Huntingdon. Repeating his feet of silver from last year. No doubt we


will have further accolades coming his way in the future. Epke


Zonderland, such a tremendous high bar gymnast, so exciting to watch.


Up on top of the podium, European champion again. He adds it to his


world and Olympic titles. Bronze and silver for Great Britain on high


bar. Standing alongside one of the great high bar gymnasts, Epke


Zonderland. That is going to be a photograph to savour.


You made it look easy today. Daily it's definitely not easy. On high


bar, my biggest rival fell down. I felt really sorry for him but also


for the competition, because when he sets a good score, it triggers me to


do my ultimate best. But now it is sometimes even harder to do a good


routine because sometimes even harder to do a good


you know you don't sometimes even harder to do a good


best. I know that I have to focus and try to show my best routine.


Congratulations, your first European individual medal. Yeah, it was a


pretty close call. I finished fourth two or three times in finals, so I


was praying that wouldn't happen again. Fortunately for me I


delivered the goods today and came up with the bronze medal. I'm over


the moon. I'm pretty speechless. I thought that Bible, I was training


in the other gym, my big routine. I was going to put out a 6.9 or seven.


As soon as that happened, the first ball, a serious injury, I


straightaway switched my tactics and went with the routine I've done all


this week. That's a lot of experience I've had in the last few


years. But I'm incredibly happy and proud to be on the podium with this


man, Kristian Thomas as well. He's been a team-mate of mine for a long


time, team captain, and we've been roommates for this trip as well.


Such an amazing competition, we've won so many medals, to finish it


with two medals both on the podium, it's an amazing day. As a former


European silver medallist, he did look


European silver medallist, he did gym. Maybe I would have been tempted


to bang it out there after that final because somebody has got to


try and push Epke Zonderland a bit more, I think. He was streets


ahead. It's remarkable. You see various different things. Where is


ahead. It's remarkable. You see the ceiling for this? Epke


Zonderland is always pushing the boundaries. You have always got to


have that one person that is pushing, and the others will follow.


I think I would go with what Sam decided, he saw that Fabian had had


that fall, and obviously, he knew that he could get a medal. He had


qualified in fourth, so it was a safe play. Let's have another little


luck at Epke Zonderland, let's treat ourselves. He used to be a lot more


wild with his actual form, Craig? Yes, he has really tidied up over


the last few years. I like the way he catches. That is a full twisting


Kovacs. In the past, he has been really close on the bar. There was


just one part in the routine where he was a little bit wild. If you


look here, from the Stalder, that was the only bit. He absolutely bang


that dismount. And you are sitting in Mitch Fenner's seat at the


moment, and he is now the performance director for the


Netherlands, and doing a great job. I know that he has been mailing him


for his leg form, if you like. Let's have another little look at Sam's


routine, the easier one! When I say that, I use that term loosely. What


he has done, he has executed it really well. It was probably the


most sensible thing for him to do, once Hambuechen was out of there. He


had a real medal opportunity all of a sudden. And he delivered. There


was probably some questions back at home about, should he be in the


team? And he did really well. It is worth mentioning, just as Sam


absolutely nails that landing, that the word is that Fabian Hambuechen


is all right. He was winded but he is all right. Obviously Kristian


Thomas got bronze on the high bar, but we are now going to have a look


at Dan Purvis, the first of the individual apparatus finals. This


yes, much better than the qualification. He has already won


runs medal in the European Championships before on the floor.


For a couple of years he has been really pushing to get amongst the


medals and just been a little bit short, but today, he was dead on the


money. Could not be more happy for him. We talked about difficulty and


which routine to go for, Max went for a very difficult one? Yes, up


against Berki, trying to push for that European title, absolutely


fantastic to go all out. He has worked really hard, and full credit


to him. What a Championships it has been. There is still plenty more


sport coming up for you on BBC Two. Next a documentary on the young


golfing sensation who helped Europe win the Solheim cup last year. If


you are in Scotland, you can see that on Wednesday. That is then


followed by more golf, from Wentworth. But it is goodbye from


what has been the most successful European Championships ever for


British gymnastics. Everything is on target for the worlds in October,


with the joy of the Commonwealths in between. There will be coverage


across the BBC. We hope you can join us then four more medals. Goodbye.


MUSIC: "Kickin' It Up" by Virus Syndicate


# Because I do what I want I be kickin' it up


# I be livin' it up Kickin' it up


# Cos I be livin' it up And never give it up... #


Matt Baker presents highlights of the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships from Bulgaria.

Olympic bronze medallist Beth Tweddle and Baker will review a busy week's action from Sofia, where much is expected of the GB gymnastics men.

Great Britain's men claimed team bronze at London 2012 - the first Olympic team medal in 100 years - and were among the gold-medal favourites in the continental team event.

There is also much expected in the six individual events from a GB squad that claimed five medals - including two golds - at 2013's European Championships in Moscow.

Commentary by Christine Still and Craig Heap.

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