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Team GB gymnast thrilled with historic bronze

ESPN staff
July 31, 2012 « London Olympics 2012 LIVE! | Chartbeat test »
Team GB celebrate winning bronze © PA Photos
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Gymnast Louis Smith claims the men's Olympic team bronze will change the sport's future, despite the team missing out on silver due to a late appeal by Japan.

Smith and his team-mates won Great Britain's first medal in the event since the Stockholm 1912 Games on Monday. But controversy threatened to overshadow the achievement when the Japanese successfully appealed that Kohei Uchimura deserved an extra 0.7 for his pommel horse dismount.

However, Smith insists the historic bronze medal will usher in a new era for gymnastics throughout Great Britain.

"To get a bronze medal is a miracle," said Smith. "Despite that protest and the score change, for us this is a dream come true. Silver, bronze, it doesn't matter.

"We were still happy and still clapping. We have the bronze medal around our necks, who cares about silver?

"British gymnastics has been growing and growing. Now everyone will be more motivated than ever.

"This means so much and we've still got finals left. It's a beautiful day for the sport and for British gymnastics. The beauty about what we've got is that this team isn't just a one-hit wonder."

Smith, whose pommel horse bronze in Beijing four years ago arguably kick-started the new era, says he is still trying to come to terms with the magnitude of Team GB feat.

"I'm just completely overwhelmed by the whole experience right now," he said. "Hopefully in a few months I can sit back and think, 'Right we really have done something special here now'.

"Even after I finished floor [the final event] I wasn't 100% convinced [we had won a medal], until my score came up I couldn't think 'right, we have actually done it'."

The podium finish was reward for Team GB's persistence after the team failed to qualify for London 2012 at last year's world championships in Tokyo.

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