THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES TONEY ON THE GOLD COAST ■ Email: yp.sport@ypn.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @YPS­port

York­shire’s Nile Wil­son un­der­lined his sta­tus as one of the world’s finest gymnasts by tak­ing the all-round ti­tle at the Com­mon­wealth Games on Satur­day and then back­ing it up with a sil­ver in the rings fi­nal yes­ter­day.

IF Nile Wil­son can feel the weight of his­tory on his mus­cu­lar shoul­ders then he’s do­ing a good job of hid­ing it.

Af­ter strik­ing gold in the team event and all-around com­pe­ti­tion, Leeds gym­nast Wil­son claimed Com­mon­wealth Games medal No 3 yes­ter­day with a sil­ver be­hind team-mate Court­ney Tul­loch on the rings.

And today it could get even bet­ter as he seeks to add his col­lec­tion in the high bar and par­al­lel bars fi­nal – which he reached as top qual­i­fier.

To do so he will have to drag his aching body, and trou­ble­some wrist in­jury, through one last day of com­pe­ti­tion.

“The wrist is fine but the body is in bits, I’ve just one more day and two more rou­tines to fo­cus on,” he said.

“I just need to pro­duce two clear rou­tines and that’s go­ing to put me right up there. I don’t see any rea­son why I can’t make his­tory this week.

“The wrist has been tough in the last four months and two weeks ago I was wor­ried what events I could do here.

“This is a big year, we’ve got two more ma­jor events to come with the Euro­peans in Glas­gow and the World Cham­pi­onships too. I’d love to see what I can do there com­pet­ing pain free.”

The 22-year-old Olympic bronze medal­list is no stranger to leav­ing big events with enough gold, sil­ver and bronze to bother even the most lethar­gic cus­toms of­fi­cer.

He made his­tory when he be­came the first Bri­tish gym­nast to win five gold medals at the Euro­pean Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships four years ago.

And he won gold, sil­ver and bronze on her ma­jor cham­pi­onship de­but at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow.

“Court­ney is a dif­fer­ent class on the rings but it’s great to fin­ish just be­hind him be­cause I’ve been work­ing so hard on the rings in train­ing,” he added.

“I was to­tally ex­hausted, emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally, af­ter the all-around fi­nal but I just had to push through and let the adren­a­line carry me through.

“Court­ney is a good mate and he’s a mas­sive in­spira­tion on the rings, he’s given me be­lief that I can do the skills he’s pro­duc­ing.”

It was a dra­matic men’s all­round fi­nal that went right down to the wire.

With the pres­sure on in the Gold Coast – only one for­ti­eth of a point (0.025) sep­a­rated the top three head­ing into the fi­nal ap­pa­ra­tus, the high bar.

And Wil­son pro­duced a stun­ning rou­tine that is be­com­ing his call­ing card to se­cure his sec­ond Com­mon­wealth Games gold af­ter team suc­cess on Thurs­day.

It could have been eas­ier for Wil­son – the stand­out all-around men’s gym­nast at these Games. But at the half­way stage he was down in third.

Wil­son’s com­pa­triot James Hall and Cyprus’ Mar­ios Ge­or­giou were out in front but by the time the fi­nal of the six ap­pa­ra­tus ar­rived – Wil­son’s spe­cial­ity af­ter his bronze in Rio two years ago – he knew what he needed to do.

“It’s in­cred­i­ble for it to come down to the wire on the last piece with the three of us in the mix,” he said.

“I smiled my way through it and hit the bar rou­tine I knew I could, and it’s a great feel­ing to have a Com­mon­wealth gold medal round my neck.

“Ob­vi­ously my score was a lot down on the pom­mel horse be­cause I’m not do­ing the full rou­tine be­cause of my hand, but it was enough. We were steady all the way round and I came alive on the last two ro­ta­tions.

“Be­ing in that arena soak­ing up the at­mos­phere look­ing for my par­ents in the crowd, fist-bump­ing, it’s what I’m about and how I get through and love every sec­ond of the com­pe­ti­tion and I’m sure it shows.”

Peer­less on the pom­mel for over three years, dou­ble Olympic cham­pion Max Whit­lock was dra­mat­i­cally up­staged by North­ern Ire­land 18-year-old Rhys McCle­naghan in their in­di­vid­ual ap­pa­ra­tus fi­nal, and had to set­tle for sil­ver.

I don’t see any rea­son why I can’t make his­tory this week. Leeds gym­nast Nile Wil­son who could end up with five medals this week.

npower is the Of­fi­cial Part­ner of Team Eng­land and is giv­ing our ath­letes the power of sup­port by record­ing a brand new ver­sion of their an­them, Jerusalem. To lis­ten to the track visit npower.com/ tea­meng­land

PIC­TURE: MIKE EGER­TON/PA

PIC­TURE: MIKE EGER­TON/PA

MAN OF THE HOUR: Eng­land’s Nile Wil­son, from York­shire, cel­e­brates win­ning a gold medal in the men’s in­di­vid­ual all-round fi­nal on the Gold Coast.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.