London 2012 Olympic gymnastics: GB’s Beth Tweddle wins bronze
Beth Tweddle becomes the first British woman to win an Olympic medal in an individual gymnastics event at London 2012
Beth Tweddle became the first British woman to win an Olympic medal in an individual gymnastics competition after clinching bronze in the uneven bars at the North Greenwich Arena on Monday.
Britain’s most successful gymnast had already announced that the London Games would be her last, and although not leaving as champion she certainly left with her head held high.
The 27-year-old scored 15.916, behind leader Aliya Mustafina of Russia in 16.133 and China’s He Kexin in second with 15.933.
Tweddle’s Olympic medal serves a fitting end to a 12-year international career, which includes a host of world and European medals.
“It’s the best feeling in the world to win the Bronze medal, there was one point today I thought I’d end in fourth like in Beijing, so I’m really happy,” she said.
“This was the one medal missing from my collection; this is the one I really wanted. I tried to keep calm and do what I do best and the crowd were amazing, as soon as I walked into the arena it was incredible.
“I had a step on my dismount but at the end of the day I had to go for the difficult dismount to challenge for a medal. To be honest I could say ‘what if’ but I’m not disappointed in the slightest, any medal, any colour is what I always said I wanted, so I’m extremely happy.”
On retiring from the sport, she added: “This is definitely my last Olympics. I’m not totally retiring straight away; it would be too much on my mind and body just to stop.
“The federation have said I can keep training a bit, so I can decide what I want to do rather than make drastic decisions.”
Team-mate Kristian Thomas followed in the men’s individual vault competition but his bid for a medal evaporated after he was awarded 15.533 points following an error during landing.
Thomas looked set to challenge for the medals after a strong first vault, but a mistake when trying to land his second saw him drop down the leader board and finish in a disappointing eighth place.
Japanese favourite Yang Hak-Seon took gold with 16.533, and Russia’s Denis Ablyazin clinched silver.