Commonwealth Games: England win landmark third team gymnastics gold

‘Incredible performance!’ – England storm men’s artistic team final for gold
Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV with extra streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; live text and clips online.

England became the first team to win three successive Commonwealth team gymnastics golds as Birmingham’s Joe Fraser helped them to a big victory.

Home favourite Fraser topped the pommel horse standings with a score of 14.650, raising roars around the arena.

And the hosts made light of the absence of the injured Max Whitlock to finish on 254.500, 13.300 ahead of Canada.

James Hall, Jake Jarman, Giarnni Regini-Moran and Courtney Tulloch also impressed as England dominated.

Between them, they ensured a clean sweep of the standings, with England on top in all six pieces of apparatus.

Their success was England’s second gold of the Commonwealth Games after triathlete Alex Yee triumphed earlier on the opening day of action.

British champion Fraser’s hopes of competing in the all-around competition at the Commonwealths had been wrecked by an ankle injury two weeks before the Games.

However, he vowed to put his disappointmentexternal-link behind him to help England chase another title after success at Glasgow 2014 and on the Gold Coast in 2018.

The 23-year-old made good on his promise and said afterwards: “I’m hardcore.

“I have had numerous times when I’ve thought, this isn’t meant to be, but the thought of performing in front of a home crowd just made me want to push myself and achieve great things.”

Fraser entered the competition with a slick routine on the pommel and dismounted to a backing of raucous applause. The judges duly scored him 14.650, 0.300 ahead of Northern Ireland’s Rhys McClenaghan, the defending Commonwealth champion on the apparatus.

Tulloch, defending champion on the rings from the Gold Coast, extended England’s lead with a controlled, confident display that earned a score of 14.700, comfortably eclipsing the rest of the competition.

Regini-Moran top-scored in both the parallel bars and floor, with Jarman clear of the rest on the vault.

The final word was fittingly left to Fraser, though. He stuck a superb horizontal bar routine on England’s final rotation, top-scoring with 14.500.

Fraser added: “I’ve faced so much adversity. Before the high bar, my coach said ‘I believe in you’, and that was exactly what I needed.

“Sticking the dismount just made everything become real. Even with the injuries I’ve been managing, to walk away with that landing, I was just so proud of myself.”

The England team bounced together in a joyful huddle, but their celebrations were outdone by a delighted Cyprus team, who took a surprise bronze.

Scotland and Wales finished fifth and sixth respectively.

The team final also acts as the qualifying event for individual disciplines, with the top eight on each apparatus progressing to the medal events later in the Games.

England’s Jarman and Hall were the two highest-scoring gymnasts in all-around qualification, ahead of Cyprus’ Marios Georgiou.

Scotland’s Frank Baines, who retired in 2019 but returned to the sport to compete in a third Commonwealth Games, also progressed.

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