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High drama for GB's gymnastic heroes

ESPN staff
July 30, 2012

Every day of the Olympics, we at ESPN Towers will award gold, silver and bronze medals to the top three moments. Here are our choices for day three...

Medal Table


The men's team gymnastics final had absolutely everything: a brilliant atmosphere, a medal for GB, high drama - and a twist at the end. We knew that Great Britain had their first Olympic medal in the event for 100 years, and we thought it was a silver - however, it was subsequently shunted down to bronze after an appeal from the Japanese team.

Japan were second heading into the final event and seemingly guaranteed silver - until an error from Kohei Uchimura on the pommel horse left them fourth, and out of the medals. But, after their appeal was upheld, they were back up to second - and GB had bronze. Phew.

Still, after the dust settles, we can reflect on a brilliant team performance from the British boys, with particular praise reserved for two efforts that drew huge scores: Louis Smith on the pommel horse, and Kristian Thomas in the vaulting.


Two captivating moments in the women's 100m breaststroke final: first, when the beeper malfunctioned and went off ahead of time, sending Breeja Larson of America diving into the water before she'd even been told to take her mark. That gave rise to the bizarre sight of a handyman walking towards the beeper with a toolbox.

He worked his magic, and when we were off, the race was won by 15-year-old Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte who, in her maiden major final, won her country's first ever Olympic medal in the pool. Amazing. "I can't believe it. It's all too much for me. I just can't believe it," she said - and nor could anyone else.

By the by, Meilutyte lives and trains in Plymouth. Can we claim her as a Brit?


Teenage weightlifter Zoe Smith deserves huge credit for a fearless effort at her first Olympic Games. The 18-year-old's lift of 121kgs in the clean and jerk was a British record, and ensured her place in history - and she very nearly broke another British record in the snatch.

She has form for making a grand entrance: at her first senior international competition, the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India, she grabbed a bronze medal.

Her Olympic achievements are all the more impressive when you consider her penultimate tweet before competing was, "I just ate a really big cookie". Now if you don't mind, we're off to wolf down a Snickers and tip over a truck.

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