Great Britain stage stunning fightback to claim World Championship bronze

Great Britain's men's team celebrate bronze at the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool (Pic: Simone Ferraro)
Great Britain's men's team celebrate bronze at the World Gymnastics Championships in Liverpool (Pic: Simone Ferraro)

By Tom Harle at the M&S Bank Arena

Great Britain came back from the brink to win men's team bronze and send a home crowd wild in Liverpool.

Eighth and last at the halfway point, the host nation's struggles on pommel left them a world away from emulating the women's historic feats of the night before.

But Joe Fraser, Courtney Tulloch, Jake Jarman, Giarnni Regini-Moran and James Hall raised themselves on parallel bars and horizontal bar to overhaul Italy for bronze.

“We just went out there and gave it our all," said Fraser. "It is the comeback of my life. The team and I never doubted ourselves once,

"We pulled together through the hard times, we were there for each other on the highs. This will be up there for the rest of my life.”

It was Britain's second-ever men's team medal, their first coming on home soil in Glasgow in 2015.

They have finished fourth at the last two Olympics and fifth at the last two World Championships, with this result representing a major breakthrough.

It also yielded an Olympic quota place, with Great Britain the only nation to secure a full complement of ten Paris berths at the first opportunity.

Pommel horse, traditionally a British strength thanks to three-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock, nearly proved their undoing.

Whitlock - summarising in the BBC studio - watched on as Fraser and Hall both fell on his trademark apparatus.

“I definitely made it hard for us," said Fraser. "The second piece (pommel horse) was tough for me. I made quite a few mistake. On a three up, three to score situation it’s very detrimental for our performance.

“We were in eighth right up until two rotations to go and I said to the lads, ‘Right, come on, we’ve got nothing to lose here. Let’s step up and do what we do.’"

Tulloch scored 14.666 on rings, matching his qualification score to start the comeback.

Fraser posted a stunning 15.000 on parallel bars to close the gap and last up, Jarman stuck his horizontal bar routine to send the home crowd wild.

Ahead of his final routine, Fraser said: “I was just thinking, I’ve been training my whole life for this. Courtney was right in front of me and he said, ‘Come on, I believe in you.’"

The World Gymnastics Championships Liverpool 2022 will be one of the largest international sporting events ever to be held in the city. Over 500 gymnasts from more than 70 countries will compete at the M&S Bank Arena from 29 October to 6 November 2022. Tickets are available at www.2022worldgymnastics.com/tickets