Having only just missed out on a medal by coming in fourth in Beijing four years ago, it’s unsurprising that British gymnast Beth Tweddle was determined to go one better at London 2012.
And this is exactly what she did yesterday (August 6th) by clinching bronze in the uneven bars with a close to immaculate routine.
Her feat is particularly impressive given that it makes the 27-year-old the first woman to win a medal for Great Britain in gymnastics and the oldest female to win a medal on the uneven bars in more than 50 years.
Her slick routine was almost perfect but a flawed landing on her complex double-twist, double-somersault dismount denied her the gold medal, which went to Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, while He Kexin from China took silver.
Despite being three-time world champion and having an impressive gymnastics career behind her, before yesterday Beth had yet to secure an Olympic medal.
And although it wasn’t the gold, the gymnast was clearly thrilled to have a bronze medal to add to her trophy cabinet.
“At one point I thought I was going to finish exactly like being in fourth, but it worked out my way this time,” she said.
“Everyone knows this was the one medal missing from my collection and the one I wanted. Before these games I said any medal of any colour would make me happy, and I’m going to stick to that.”
For gymnastics fans who made the journey down to the capital to stay in central London hotels and catch some of the Olympic action, yesterday’s result will no doubt have made the visit worthwhile.
Beth’s bronze puts the tally for the number of medals won by the British gymnastics team at four, with the men’s team picking up a bronze last week and Louis Smith and Max Whitlock taking individual silver and bronze respectively.